England stretch lead over SA

Jonny Bairstow (AP Photo)
Jonny Bairstow (AP Photo)

Durban - Jonny Bairstow led an aggressive batting performance as England stretched their lead to 364 runs on the fourth morning of the first Test against South Africa at Kingsmead on Tuesday.

England, who led by 89 runs on the first innings, were 275 for seven in their second innings after adding 103 runs for the loss of four wickets in 27 overs during the morning.

Bairstow was unbeaten on 49 off 49 balls in a rare example of a batsman scoring freely on a dry, slow pitch.

South African off-spinner Dane Piedt bowled 13 overs unchanged throughout the morning and had figures of five for 133 off 31 overs at lunch.

South Africa, who were again without fast bowler Dale Steyn because of a shoulder strain, struck two blows early in the day, dismissing Joe Root for 73 and Ben Stokes for five while England added 25 runs to their overnight total of 172 for three.

Root added 13 runs to his overnight score of 60 before cutting a ball from Kyle Abbott to Stiaan van Zyl at first slip.

Stokes showed aggressive intent by reverse-sweeping Piedt for four but in trying to repeat the shot he top-edged a simple catch to Dean Elgar at slip.

James Taylor progressed from 24 to 42 before charging out of his crease to provide an easy stumping for AB de Villiers off Piedt, who achieved four wickets in an innings for the fourth time in his third Test match.

Moeen Ali made 16 before missing a sweep against Piedt. He was given out leg before wicket after a successful review by South Africa.

Steyn, who only bowled 3.5 overs on Monday, including a second spell of just three balls, again felt discomfort in his right shoulder and it was decided he should not take the field. The injury puts him in doubt for the second Test starting in Cape Town on Saturday.

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