International Sport

South Africa plan to frustrate England further

Image: South Africa’s Faf du Plessis leaves the nets after attending a practice session ahead of their fourth one-day international cricket match against India in Chennai, India, October 21, 2015. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

By Mark Gleeson
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – South Africa plan to spend another day at the crease after a day of attritional batting dug them out of a hole and kept alive their hopes of salvaging the second test against England, batsman Faf du Plessis said.

The home side lost just one wicket as they moved at almost pedestrian pace from 141-2 to 353-3 on day three of the second test at Newlands, in reply to England’s 629 for six declared.

Captain Hashim Amla batted the whole day to finish unbeaten on 157 with Du Plessis alongside him on 51 at the close.

“We were behind the eight-ball from the first day and it needed a really resilient performance and we did that today, just to get back into the test,” du Plessis told reporters on Monday.

“For us it was just about getting back into the game in the way we know how to and our intention is to bat well tomorrow and tire out the English bowling attack.

“Tomorrow is for us to bat and bat at a rate of about three runs per over. England have an experienced bowling attack and we cannot expect to score at 5-6 runs an over to them. We plan to bat as long as possible and make England bowl and bowl and bowl.”

Monday’s play was a rare bright day for the world’s top ranked test team who have not won in their last seven matches.

Having already lost the opening test in Durban, the hosts were left shell-shocked on Sunday as England double act Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow ripped apart the South African bowling attack during a 399-run sixth wicket partnership.

Hence for South Africa, it was a relief to stop England’s rampant form on Monday. “Mentally it’s important to get back and put your peg in the ground, especially as a batting unit.

Our loss in India left a mental scar and we were definitely lacking confidence afterthe series. Our loss in Durban had a few ghosts from India hanging over it,” Du Plessis added. 

“But to lose just one wicket today is a huge win for us and hopefully a turning point.”

(Editing by Pritha Sarkar)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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