Vernon Philander recovers from bug as South Africa look to bounce back

Vernon Philander recovers from bug as South Africa look to bounce back

Watch the fourth and final Test between England and South Africa live on Sky Sports Cricket and Main Event - with over-by-over commentary and in-play video clips on our digital platforms - from 10am on Saturday.

Anderson's first scalp came with only his third delivery in a moment of incredible drama and the next three arrived in his second spell - including a burst of two in three balls.

But, if it is to triumph at Old Trafford - a ground where its lone Test win in eight visits came in 1955 - it will surely need an improved showing from the top order.

Bairstow's was the 17th innings of 99 by an English player in Test cricket, but a lot of finger's will be pointed at Du Plessis for setting his field back when he did.

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"We've not done things by halves so far in this series", said England captain Joe Root.

Yet it would have been so much worse had it not been for three gritty knocks from Cook, Root and particularly Stokes, whose battling effort, latterly in company with Jonny Bairstow, very almost saw off the second new ball as the sun stretched across Old Trafford.

Duanne Olivier and Kagiso Rabada picked two wickets apiece as South Africa restricted England to 260 for six at stumps on day one of the final Test at Old Trafford. Then when they dropped it short or tossed it wide, he cut or pulled the ball to the boundary.

This series has been notable for lurching unstoppably one way or another at each venue - with England twice winning easily, yet losing by 340 runs in between at Trent Bridge.

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They selected Tom Westley, and he showed everyone what he can do with an encouraging 25 in the first innings, and then an old-fashioned Test knock of 59 in 141 balls in the second innings.

South African captain Faf du Plessis would have been concerned when Keshav Maharaj was forced off for treatment early in his spell but England continued to be pegged back as they ended the morning session on 67-1 at a run rate of just 2.31. It was arguably a poor decision, as he bowled fewer overs than expected in the first innings, went to hospital at the end of the second day and then was below-par in the second innings. Root said: "He's a very level-headed guy, he's got a very strong character and throughout he's been much the same in the way he's approached his training and in each game as well". He might not have got too many in the previous test, but dropping him could be a disaster.

There was already variable bounce available, and Anderson would have had a third quick wicket had Keaton Jennings clung on to barely a half-chance diving one-handed to his left at third slip from a delivery that bounced and left a scoreless Theunis de Bruyn.

He played only a limited part in South Africa's defeat and his absence told with the bowlers misfiring.

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With Rahul set to return for the second Test that starts in Colombo on Thursday it has left Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri with a dilemma.

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