South Africa vs England 2017 2nd Test, Day 3: 5 talking points
South Africa tightened their grip on the game with a clinical performance on day 3. Dean Elgar, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis showed resilience, composure and importantly patience as the Proteas slowly but steadily wrecked England on a track the hosts love playing on.
If England tried to dominate in their first innings with aggressive intent and rash shots, South Africa asserted their authority with steady defence and slow grinding. Being just the third day of the game, the visitors had enough time to build a considerable lead and they did exactly that.
With 474 to chase down, England's innings started on a jittery note with Alastair Cook given leg before wicket to Morne Morkel off the very first ball of the innings. However, Cook reviewed and the decision was overturned after replays revealed the ball going over the stumps.
Philander, meanwhile, continued to torment Cook in the three overs that remained in the day.
Brief Scores: South Africa 335 & 343/9d (Amla 87, Elgar 80, Moeen 4/78) . England 205 & 1/0.
Take a glance at the talking points from a captivating day's play at Trent Bridge.
#5 Elgar-Amla bat South Africa to dominating lead
England were already trailing in the game after South Africa ended day two with a lead of 205 on the board. However, Root would have expected Broad and Anderson to wake up rejuvenated and launch a scything attack on the Proteas batsmen. None of it came true as Elgar and Amla played solid shots and secured a winning position for South Africa.
The flashy Amla who had earned much criticism in the last few months was nowhere to be seen as he found the middle of the bat with better-looking shots today. Elgar, on the other hand, had been very loose outside his off-stump on day 2 but looked much more secure today reminding fans of Graeme Smith's heydays.
Unlike Elgar, Amla showed real intent occasionally as he plundered Liam Dawson for 14 in an over, reaching his half-century with a six.