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Dominant South Africa set England 474 to win

From BBC - July 16, 2017

South Africa mercilessly sucked the life out of England on the third day of the second Test at Trent Bridge.

Hashim Amla, Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis all passed 50 as the tourists eventually declared on 343-9 in their second innings.

Set 474 to win, England were given four overs to survive at the end of the day.

Alastair Cook was given out lbw first ball, but successfully overturned the decision on review to see the home side close on 1-0.

England's bowling was largely respectable, with Moeen Ali taking 4-78 and Ben Stokes 2-34.

Their day might have been better had a caught-behind appeal against Amla been reviewed when he was on 25, while Elgar was dropped by a flying James Anderson on 55.

Ultimately, Joe Root's side paid the price for being bowled out for 205 in their first innings, and the four-match series is likely to be levelled at 1-1.

England stare down the barrel

Following the high of a 211-run victory at Lord's a week ago, this was a chastening day for England, who have to pull off a Test record run chase if they are to secure an unlikely victory.

The surface offered less assistance to the pace bowlers than the first two days, but the home side would not have been pleased to see examples of the ball keeping low late on.

Tactics were occasionally imaginative - the off side packed or leg-side catchers employed for the short ball - and the bowling wholehearted, even if paceman Mark Wood again looked innocuous in 18 wicketless overs.

But most of England's efforts were repelled by a South Africa side who demonstrated all the patience, discipline and application that eluded the hosts on day two.

Amla leads Proteas' plod

It was Amla (87) who epitomised South Africa's relentless accumulation, only bursting to life at the sight of Liam Dawson, hitting the left-arm spinner down the ground.

Still, it was Dawson who removed Amla, correctly reviewing a rejected lbw appeal after the right-hander advanced down the pitch.

Elgar (80) earlier shared a stand of 135 with Amla, but the left-hander showed no great fluency before he was bounced out by Stokes.

More review problems for England

'We have two days to knock them off' - what they said

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