A gradual but inevitable descent into cricket-based loathing and bile.

England vs. South Africa: Third Test, Day Two Review

Posted on August 17, 2012 by in Tests

South Africa 309 (Duminy 61, Philander 61; Finn 4-75)

England 208/5 (Bairstow 72*, Bell 58; Steyn 2-48)

South Africa lead by 101 runs

In a sentence

Up and down like Kevin Pietersen’s moods.

In more sentences

After two Test matches where the bat has largely dominated, it has been satisfying to see a regular clatter of wickets and a game which hitherto has lived up to the pre-series hype.  England wrapped up the South African tail in a moderately convincing fashion but themselves fell victim to sloppy shots.  We’re looking at you here, Alastair Cook.  With the home side tottering at 54/4, the pressures of the land were on a doughty little gingerman.  It was like being in 2006 again.

One of the great musical years.

Player of the Day

Jonny Bairstow entered this game with question marks against his ability to face the short ball.  If this theory were to be tested, then it would certainly be against Messrs Steyn, Morkel and Philander.  He passed the test with flying colours, seeing off the early barrage before playing a classy, largely untroubled innings which dragged England from nervously looking at the meagre follow-on target to envisaging a lead.  He remains there overnight (not literally, we imagine he’s tucking into his Aunt Bessie’s right now, washed down with a good honest pint of Best) and with the new ball eight overs away and limited batting to come, we could do with naming him Player of the Day tomorrow too.

Other frozen foods are available.


The long hot summer that the Style Council promised is here, for tomorrow at least.  England will be aiming to force a lead, however slight, with the prospect of batting last on a track which continues to offer enough encouragement to the seamers.  South Africa will be looking to be batting before lunch and then keep the home side in the field all day.  Sit back, crack open your Beefeater gin and enjoy, for this is Test cricket as it was intended.


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