Durban: Steven Finn took three crucial wickets, including two in successive overs, as England pushed for victory on the fourth day of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead yesterday.
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Steven Finn celebrates a Proteas wicket on Day 4 yesterday. Pic/AFP
Set to make 416 to win, South Africa were 136 for four at the close of play, facing a long struggle to bat out the final day to earn a draw and prevent England from going ahead in the four-match series.
England hopes soared when the tall Finn had South African captain Hashim Amla caught behind for 12 before removing the limpet-like Dean Elgar for 40. Elgar, who carried his bat for 118 not out in the first innings, was caught at second slip by Joe Root.
He had been on the field for the entire match up to that point. AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis batted through 103 minutes and 23.5 overs to raise hopes that South Africa might pull off another rearguard action to save the game as they have done against Australia, India and Sri Lanka in recent seasons.
England 303 and 326 (Bairstow 79, Root 73, Compton 49; Piedt 5-153) South Africa 214 and 136 for 4 (De Villiers 37*, Steyn 0*; Finn 3-27) need 280 more runs to win