The Cricket Social: South Africa v England – fourth Test, day fourBBC Sport20,17420,174viewing this pageScorecardGot a TV Licence?You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.Find out moreLive ReportingBy Matthew HenryAll times stated are UKPosted at 8:128:12commentsJackRobin: Re Jonny @ 8.04. No chance, bring…
JackRobin: Re Jonny @ 8.04. No chance, bring Mark Wood on for him to face, no place for sentiment in sport – win the game as quickly and efficiently as possible.
I wonder if England care that they’ll likely clinch the series in front of such a sparse crowd. The hundred or so England fans are trying to create a bit of atmosphere but you can clearly hear Jos Buttler shouting away behind the stumps.
Pieter Malan tucks two into the leg side for South Africa’s first runs. It has been a steady, quiet start.
It’s a hot, dry day at the Wanderers. Typically you wouldn’t think these were swinging conditions but Sam Curran will give it a go. He’s probably a little short in this over.
The ground is very empty today with South Africa on the brink. The England fans’ chants echo around the stands.
Sam Curran will share the new ball.
Jonny: Sad to hear. If Philander does hobble out to bat today or tomorrow, I hope Joe does the decent thing and puts himself on for an over so Vern can pump a couple in to the stands and get one last big cheer. One of the good guys, he deserves it.
The England fans now kick into a chant of “his big, he’s bad, he’s better than his dead” for Stuart Broad. It’s a good, challenging opening over from Broad. Pieter Malan is hit on the thigh by the final ball.
This will be Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper’s final rendition of Jerusalem if this does prove to be the final day. He is retiring after the game. There sounds to be bit of extra gusto in the singing.
Joe Root applauds after the final lyrics are belted out. Billy gets a hug from one of the other Barmies. Well batted, sir.
Here we go then. South Africa have an almost impossible task ahead of them. They must bat out the next two days to draw or score 466 runs to win.
Stuart Broad has the new ball. Pieter Malan is on strike.
BBC cricket correspondent in Johannesburg
Joe Root’s innings yesterday was odd. For the most part he played normally. But it was when Ben Stokes came in that it all became lively. And then Root changed his game completely, ramp shots, huge swipes, very un-Root-like. It was if he was trying to audition for a T20 team.
Play will get under way in five minutes in Johannesburg. England lost their final wicket with the last ball of the day yesterday so the first delivery today will be the first of South Africa’s innings.
BBC Test Match Special in Johannesburg
England may only have nine wickets to take after news this
morning that Vernon Philander has a grade two tear to his right hamstring. Cricket South Africa says “the medical team will try to
manage the injury to give him a chance to bat if required”.
South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said before the Test
that he hoped Philander got the climax to his career that he deserved.
Big Vern will want his Test farewell to be struggling to the wicket in an
obvious losing cause. Plus, although this is his last international game, he has
signed with Somerset and will want to play a full part so won’t want to risk
Good morning for what could be the final time on this tour of South Africa.
Centurion seems an awful long time ago when a depleted England fell 1-0 behind. Since then they have been dominant, particularly so in this Test.
Joe Root’s side have grabbed the initiative and not let go.
The young team will almost certainly win this match and clinch the series. It seems to be just a matter of time.
The equation is simple.
England have two days to take the 10 wickets needed for an away series win over South Africa…
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