Proteas set for another major first innings deficit

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05:  South Africa captain Faf du Plessis is bowled by James Anderson of England during day two of the 4th Investec Test between England and South Africa at Old Trafford on August 5, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: South Africa captain Faf du Plessis is bowled by James Anderson of England during day two of the 4th Investec Test between England and South Africa at Old Trafford on August 5, 2017 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

THE Standard Bank Proteas chances of winning the fourth Test match to share the series slipped sharply at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday when they headed for a massive first innings deficit for the second match in a row.

With the top order batsmen again failing to put substantial runs on the board the Proteas reached the close on 220/9 for an overall deficit of 142 runs.

At one stage it looked like being a great deal worse before their tail-end batsmen rode their luck with the last three wickets to fall adding 74 runs to the total.

The match was relatively evenly poised when Temba Bavuma, batting in his new position of No. 4, and Faf du Plessis took the total well past the 100 mark for the loss only three wickets.

But Jimmy Anderson proved to be the architect of the Proteas batting demise. He dismissed Dean Elgar with the third ball of the innings as the Proteas again failed to get a decent start against the new ball. He then returned to dismiss Bavuma and Du Plessis in the space of three balls and added the wicket of Theunis de Bruyn for good measure as well.

All the England bowlers, in fact, chipped in with Moeen Ali taking the two wickets he needed to complete 20 for the series.

Earlier, England had managed to post a total of 362 which was probably about 60 more than the par score. This was made possible by an attacking innings of 99 (145 balls, 14 fours and a six) from Jonathan Bairstow who farmed the bowling during a last-wicket stand of exactly 50 with Anderson to which the latter contributed only four runs.

Kagiso Rabada topped the bowling figures with 4/91 in 26 overs and would have had a fifth had Quinton de Kock not dropped a low chance offered by Bairstow.