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England turn the screw on South Africa

England turn the screw on South Africa

By Mark Gleeson

DURBAN (Reuters) – England extended their lead over South Africa to 147 runs at tea on the third day of the first test on Monday despite captain Alastair Cook being dismissed cheaply again.

England were 58 for two in their second innings and in a dominant position with South Africa’s key strike bowler Dale Steyn off the field with a shoulder injury.

Cook was the first victim of the afternoon session at Kingsmead, trapped lbw by spinner Dane Piedt for seven. He had been caught behind without scoring in the first innings.

Debutant Alex Hales was caught at long on off Piedt for 26 with Nick Compton (15) and Joe Root (six) unbeaten at the break after both had been dropped.

South Africa celebrate the wicket of England's Moeen Ali (not in picture) during the first cricket test match in Durban, South Africa, December 27, 2015. REUTERS/Rogan Ward
South Africa celebrate the wicket of England’s Moeen Ali (not in picture) during the first cricket test match in Durban, South Africa, December 27, 2015. REUTERS/Rogan Ward

Steyn was due to go for a scan after play on Monday after he pulled up clasping his shoulder on his follow through after two balls of his fourth over.

He was sent from the field by his captain Hashim Amla for treatment and diagnosed with a right shoulder strain but he returned 50 minutes later to bowl three balls before going off again.

South Africa were bowled out for 214 just before lunch despite dogged resistance from opener Dean Elgar, who carried his bat through the innings and finished on 118 not out.

Elgar, 67 not out overnight, punched the air and pounded his chest in exuberant celebration after reaching 100, the first South African to do so in their last seven test matches.

His patient stroke play contrasted with the nervy batting of many of his team mates as a crisis of confidence in the South African side, still ranked number one in the world despite a heavy series defeat in India last month, continued.

Moeen Ali was destroyer-in-chief with three wickets, ably backed up by Stuart Broad and Steven Finn.

Broad, who finished with figures of 4-25, made an immediate impact with only the second ball of the day.

Temba Bavuma played on to a wider delivery and was bowled for 10. Moeen dismissed JP Duminy (two), Kyle Abbott (0) and Steyn for 17 to finish with figures of 4-69.

(Editing by Ed Osmond; mark.gleeson@thomsonreuters.com; +27828257807; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: mark.gleeson.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)

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