England defeat looming at Lord’s
LONDON, Aug 20 – South Africa were on the cusp of victory in the third and final test at Lord’s today after reducing England to 221 for seven at tea on the last day.
The home team, chasing an improbable 346 to square the series at 1-1 and avoid losing top spot in the world rankings to South Africa, need 125 more runs from 33 overs.
England lost two wickets before lunch and three more in the middle session having resumed on 16 for two.
Matt Prior was unbeaten on 35 with Graeme Swann 12 not out at the interval.
Prior combined in a seventh-wicket stand of 62 with Stuart Broad (37) that was full of positive intent and gave England outside hopes of surpassing their record run-chase, 332 for seven against Australia in 1928.
But Broad was caught low down at long leg by Hashim Amla after hooking Jacques Kallis 10 minutes before tea, a dismissal that seemed to end any realistic hope that England could still reach their target.
Broad had smashed 12 runs off one over from paceman Dale Steyn including a pulled six over square leg.
West Indies, who scored 344 for one in 1984, are the only team to have successfully chased a total beyond 300 in a Lord’s test.
Earlier, Jonathan Trott made 63 and Jonny Bairstow cracked 54 in 47 deliveries.
Bairstow smashed eight boundaries in a typically aggressive effort that followed his fighting 95 in the first innings.
He was bowled after lunch as leg-spinner Imran Tahir came around the wicket and got a ball to keep low out of the rough.
Trott was removed by a magnificent catch at second slip by Kallis off Steyn.
Ian Bell and James Taylor both fell for four before lunch.
Vernon Philander has taken three wickets for South Africa. – Reuters