Moeen shines as England extend dominance in Manchester

Rachel Hardy
August 7, 2017

Ali knocked his half century from 49 balls as England looked to wrap up the series at Old Trafford.

Click on the video above to watch Moeen's stunning six and then Bairstow's brilliant grab.

By that point England's advantage appeared decisive, with Joe Root (49) again to the fore, given the previous highest-successful run chase on the ground is the 294-4 scored by England against New Zealand in 2008.

While there is yet to be any public announcement on Gibson's future, Paul Farbrace, England's assistant coach, appeared to inadvertently confirm the appointment after the opening day's play of the final Test against South Africa at Old Trafford.

Anderson's 4-33, ably supported by fellow seamer Stuart Broad, reduced South Africa to 220-9 at the close and gives England, who lead 2-1, a great chance of securing their first home series win over the Proteas since 1998.

He was fortunate to be dropped on 15 by Dean Elgar at slip off Maharaj but, with that let-off behind him, went on to bring up a fifty with a towering six that was caught on the players' balcony by a beaming Bairstow.

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Moeen struck three sixes on his way to 67 not out off 59 balls before rain ended play for the day with England leading by 360 runs after bowling South Africa out for 226 in the visitors' first innings. South Africa still had one final chance to turn things around by bowling England out cheaply, and created enough chances to do so.

In reply, England's openers, Cook and Jennings, started cautiously against the twin new-ball threat of Morkel and Kagiso Rabada - nearly too cautiously in Jennings' case, who, after failing to get off the mark from his first 13 deliveries, poked uncertainly down the line to Rabada, and squirted a fast but eminently catchable chance into the cordon.

Though England have lost 6 wickets already, they still have Bairstow at the crease to take the lead past 300, which will increase problems for South Africa.

After England started their second dig, Morne Morkel removed both Alastair Cook and Tom Westley with the aid of gully catches.

After tea, though, Anderson produced a devastating spell of three wickets from 24 balls as England turned the screw. Two balls later the crowd sensed a major momentum shift when skipper Faf du Plessis's inside edge rattled the stumps.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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