January 21, 2018

Moeen Ali swells England's lead over South Africa to 360 runs

07 August 2017, 01:12 | Marlene Fleming

Cautious England weather initial storm

Highlights from the first day of the fourth Test between England and South Africa at Old Trafford

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.

Earlier, wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow, who became the 15th England batsman to be out one short of his century, added 50 runs for the final wicket in alliance with Anderson, helped England post 362 in their first innings.

England denied any formal approach had been made for the 48-year-old Bajan, who previously coached his native West Indies and is in his second spell in the European Central Bank set-up, but it seems highly likely that picture will change next week.

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.

Dean Elgar, at third slip, sighted the ball early and made good ground to his left - but couldn't cling on with two hands.

England and South Africa will tussle for control of the fourth Investec Test on Saturday, before attentions turn to a battle for Ottis Gibson's services.

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Ali controlled a 58-run stand with Toby Roland-Jones, scoring 45 of those 58 runs from just 40 balls.

England was in control for nearly the whole day, except for a short period at the start when South Africa took three wickets in five overs to have England at 312-9.

With Russell Domingo's current deal to lead the Proteas running out at the end of the current series against England, the highly-regarded Gibson has emerged as the front-runner to take over. But figures of 4 for 38 in 17 overs gave Anderson his best innings return in seven Tests at Old Trafford.

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.

Morne Morkel was 18 not out after Rabada (23) was brilliantly caught by a diving Ben Stokes in the gully off Stuart Broad.

Out-of-form opener Keaton Jennings and, below him, Tom Westley and Dawid Malan at numbers three and five in their second tests, had all gone cheaply in an innings propped up initially by the ultra-consistent Joe Root - who fell short of his second half-century of the match by only a single.

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