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Bess fifer rattles South Africa
Coming into the Test, Faf du Plessis was under pressure as a batsman as he had failed to lead the way with his personal performance in the last few months in Tests. So, on Saturday, when he walked out to bat at the fall of Dean Elgar's wicket, the intention was to go on the attack against the spinner - Dom Bess, who had till then accounted for the first three wickets and was expected to be England's biggest strength with the ball on a pitch that had an appreciable lot for the turners.
Du Plessis stepped out once and hit him straight down the ground for a boundary. He stepped out again the next ball, with the same result. The early aggression did enough for Joe Root to remove the close-in fielders and the bowler to change his angle and come over the wicket. What, however, didn't change was du Plessis's intention to attack. He stepped out again, twice, but only to block the deliveries. However, when he did that for the second time, he ended up inside edging the ball straight to the forward short leg fielder. His dismissal had reduced South Africa to 71 for 4 within the first half an hour of Day 3. The momentum, which was already heavily in favour of England, tilted further towards the visitors, and du Plessis's torrid run continued.
The match situation also allowed England to continue with their attacking approach. Even as Root kept only a solitary slip fielder to begin the proceedings, when the ball was given to Mark Wood, he did keep some creative field sets and the pacers induced edges. Stuart Broad, in particular, was impressive with his cutters which held on a bit after pitching. One shot by Rassie van der Dussen just went past Dominic Sibley at short cover and one fell just ahead of Broad, who was on his follow-through. Despite some testing bowling, there was no success for the English pacers. Anrich Nortje - Cricket Betting Tips who had come in as a nightwatchman last evening - ensured that he did well to keep the short-ball barrage out of danger despite his limited skills with the bat. He remained unbeaten through the first session, remaining unbeaten on 14 in 88 balls.
Van der Dussen, despite some early struggle, did well in the company of Nortje to keep the English bowlers at bay for more than an hour. Runs started flowing well as the duo eased in the middle as they added 38 runs for the fifth wicket. However, in the last few minutes of the session, van der Dussen decided to cut Bess off the backfoot but ended up inside edging it on to the stumps to offer the offie his maiden Test fifer.
Lunch was taken 15 minutes before the scheduled time due to rain as South Africa went to break on 113 for 5, all five wickets falling to Bess.
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