Markram c Crawley b Broad 6 That’s enough! Markram bowls Broad straight to second slip, where Crawley takes a smart catch. Broad turns straight to the umpire – not to appeal, but to wait for confirmation that it wasn’t a no-ball. Chris Gaffaney sticks his thumb and South Africa are three down FOW 54/3
Over 22: SA 54/2 (Petersen 9 Markram 6)
Robinson takes one to follow Pietersen, who wears it painfully on the hip bone. Hitting seems pretty uncomfortable right now, physically and especially mentally. Time for soft drinks.
Over 21: SA 49/2 (Petersen 7 Markram 4)
Markram, duly refreshed, gets off the mark by shoveling the next ball to the mid-on boundary.
Markram bowled no ball!
oh dear It was a stunning delivery from new bowler Stuart Broad, who roared down the seam to brush the off bail, but the third umpire called for a no-ball. It’s tight and Broad isn’t impressed at all, but it’s the right call.
Over 20: SA 43/2 (Petersen 6 Markram 0)
After a spectacular start to his Test career, Aiden Markram has fallen on hard times. He averages 13 from his last eight Tests and 25 from his great series against Australia in 2017-18. Robinson fancies a cheap wicket and his hands on his head with successive deliveries bouncing over the stumps. They were dangerous cards – the bounce wasn’t always consistent on this court – but Markram survives.
Over 19: SA 43/2 (Petersen 6 Markram 0)
The ball definitely reverses – not a huge amount, but enough to make batting a precarious affair.
Pietersen is not out!
It was a jaffa from Anderson but Petersen missed it wide. DRS wins again.
Review of South Africa!
Petersen c Foakes b Anderson 6 I don’t think he has achieved that.
Over 18: SA 39/2 (Petersen 2 Markram 0)
South Africa still trail by 225.
Erwee c Foakes b Robinson 25 Beautifully done by Ollie Robinson! He moved around the wicket to Erwee, who was too late trying to leave a good delivery that straightened to shave the edge and was taken just over the ground by Foakes. This is the reward for Robinson’s impeccable line, which constantly challenges a batter’s judgment on the off stump. FOW 39/2
Over 17: SA 39/1 (Erwee 25 Petersen 2)
Anderson hides the ball in his path, which either means he’s reversing or wants batters to think he’s reversing. I think it’s the first: he takes one to go back to Petersen, who defends solidly. A defiant girl finishes with a nervy inside edge on the pad from Petersen.
Over 16: SA 39/1 (Erwee 25 Petersen 2)
Erwee is down at second slip by Robinson! It was a desperately difficult chance which almost came to Crawley on the half volley as he dived forward and to his right. Robinson is bowling beautifully here. Even when Erwee makes three runs, it’s from a thick edge through the rope.
Over 15: SA 35/1 (Erwee 22 Petersen 1)
South Africa’s No 5 Rassie van der Dussen has his index finger in a splint after injuring it on the field. I’m sure it will hit, but it won’t be a comfortable experience. If South Africa are to get back into this game, one of Erwee, Petersen and Markram must make a hundred. Erwee made a fairly confident start, although he was just beaten by another excellent delivery from Anderson. His line is relentless.
Over 14: SA 33/1 (Erwee 21 Petersen 0)
Ollie Robinson replaces Joe Root. He beats Erwee to mid-on, the ball threatening to roll back onto the stumps before Erwee chases it away. Good start from Robinson, his line as tight as ever. A girl.
Over 13: SA 33/1 (Erwee 21 Petersen 0)
This is James Anderson’s 662nd Test sheet.
Elgar V Anderson 11 Shocking bowling from James Anderson! He beat Elgar with a beautiful delivery and followed with a deadly delivery. He straightened a fraction, kept a bit low and sent the stump flying as Elgar pushed defensively down the wrong line. He was definitely upset by the previous delivery. FOW 33/1
Over 12: SA 32/0 (Erwee 20 Elgar 12)
Root goes on, in fact, and takes a ball to turn wildly, albeit well wide of Elgar’s off stump. Later in the over, Elgar shapes up to play a ball that spits badly into Fooks’ gloves. Promising stuff from Root, a bowler so often described as underrated that we probably can’t call him underrated anymore.
Over 11: SA 32/0 (Erwee 20 Elgar 11)
On Sky, Mark Butcher believes Root ended it so Leach could switch ends. That would make sense, especially as Jimmy Anderson is in the James Anderson End. Or it’s James Anderson in Jimmy Anderson End.
Erwee goes delightfully through covers for three, with Leach running after it to save a run with a long stand. As usual England bowlers bowl over the wicket to Erwee and around Elgar. The over ends with a jaffa escaping Erwee’s stiff defensive drive.
Over 10: SA 28/0 (Erwee 17 Elgar 11)
Well, I never did. The gentleman opening the bowling is… Joe Root. I guess there’s a certain logic to it, with two left-handers at the crease.
He has an LBW appeal dismissed off the first ball when Erwee misses a sweep. The leg is missing. Stuck out leg actually. Erwee takes the first runs of the day with a cool run to the extra-cover limit.
The players are coming
Test cricket is never more enticing than when bat and ball have an equal chance of success. Today should be a good day.
The scene in Manchester
Stokes wins the right to play
It is remarkable that, for all his storming brilliance, most of Ben Stokes’ best Test hundreds have had a judicious start. He just went yesterday, he was irresistible. But in football parlance, he earned the right to play. Scyld Berry wrote this wonderful piece in his century.
A bad day for Simon Harmer
There are levels to this thing of ours, as Simon Harmer discovered on a disappointing afternoon at Old Trafford.
Hello and welcome
In our live coverage of matchday three at Old Trafford. It could be the last day. it may be the penultimate day. None of us know what to expect given the variables involved – a pitch with many moods, a ball that will go very soft but will have to reverse swing, a South African team that fights to the death but has a tail that starts at No7, an England team that… well, don’t get me started on them.
South Africa will resume at 23/0, a margin of 241, after the Bens dominated day two in Manchester. Stokes and Fooks both made superb centuries – Stokes was magnificent – to give England a lead that looked unlikely when Henrich Nortje took the top order.
England will not want to chase much more than 150 in the fourth innings, so there is a chance for South Africa to get back into the game. Their captain Dean Elgar, in particular, faces big challenges like this. But if England dismiss him early, he could do the job in a hurry.