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Morkel double rocks England in 4th Test

Morkel double rocks England in 4th Test

South Africa had looked like sinking without a trace after being reduced to 40 for 3 on the penultimate day - having been set 380 to win - before Hashim Amla [83] and captain Faf du Plessis [61] put on 123 for the fourth wicket to threaten to cause a shock result.

England took a major step towards claiming a series victory over South Africa after James Anderson produced an inspired display to leave Joe Root's side in control of the fourth Test after day two at Old Trafford.

When rain ended played on day three, Moeen was 67 not out and his last 38 runs had come from just 22 balls.

Moeen Ali finished 75 not out off 66 balls, a typically attacking innings from the No. 8 that had taken the game away from South Africa on Day 3 and left the tourists facing a ground-record chase at Old Trafford.

Moeen made South Africa pay for Dean Elgar dropping him on 15 when a low slip chance off Keshav Maharaj did not stick.

The left-hander, who has spent most of his career with Worcestershire as a top-order batsman, was especially severe on Maharaj, hitting him for three resounding sixes.

Yet as tea approached, Moeen broke the back of their resistance by removing Amla, Quinton de Kock and Theunis de Bruyn in the space of two overs and suddenly England were within touching distance.

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South Africa resumed on 9-220 and were soon all out for 226 when Stuart Broad dismissed last man Duanne Olivier.

Although the comfort of their first-innings lead meant there would have been few nerves in the England dressing room, the hosts were struggling at 134-6 when Moeen walked to the crease.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have said they had not received any approach from Cricket South Africa (CSA) for Ottis Gibson amid reports he was poised to become the Proteas' new head coach.

Moeen is only the second England Test player, behind Sir Ian Botham against India in 1979, to score more than 200 runs and take 20 wickets in a four-match series.

Tom Westley, caught at gully off Morne Morkel just like Alastair Cook had been shortly before, was another out to a poor shot.

South Africa looked up to Temba Bavuma once again who was the highest scorer for them in the previous innings with his 46 in an otherwise sorry-looking scorecard.

This was turning into a fine spell by Olivier, whose two wickets for four runs in eight balls threatened to put the contest back in the balance.


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