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Pride still at stake for Proteas and Maharaj

185   //    07 Aug 2017, 00:10 IST
KeshavMaharaj - Cropped
Keshav Maharaj takes a catch to dismiss Toby Roland-Jones

Keshav Maharaj insists South Africa are not giving up hope of beating England, nor is their focus beginning to wane as thoughts start to turn to home.

The Proteas will head into the fourth day of the fourth and final Test at Old Trafford with the home side 360 ahead and with two second-innings wickets still in hand.

Things had looked promising for the tourists earlier on Sunday as England fell to 153-7, an advantage of 289.

But Moeen Ali's counter-attacking 67 not out, including three sixes off Maharaj and a dropped chance at slip off the same bowler, put England firmly back in the driving seat.

"We dropped a few catches but there's runs to be scored and hopefully the batting unit can come together and chase down whatever England set us," a defiant Maharaj told a media conference.

"We need quick wickets tomorrow morning and then chase a target. We want to salvage some pride and draw the series so whatever they set us we're looking forward to it."

South Africa first arrived in England for the one-day international series in May, but Maharaj is sure no-one in the squad is thinking of home at this stage, with two days still remaining.

"You can fall into that situation but before the Test series we spoke about it. It's such a long time but we get to do something we love in front of the world," he said.

"For now we focus on the task at hand tomorrow and the last day.

"It's natural to be disappointed when you lose. Teams go through slumps and highs and we've been on a high for a long period of time. We've been playing good cricket in the build-up to this series, fair play to England, but it's not over yet."


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