GREETINGS: Good morning and welcome to the 4th day of the 2nd Sunfoil Test between South Africa and England from PPC Newlands in Cape Town. It is another gorgeous day in the Mother City and the Proteas are using this flat track to regain some of their confidence that was shattered during the 3-0 series loss to India.
RECAP: England won the toss and elected to bat first, posting 629/6 declared with Ben Stokes making 258 and Jonny Bairstow 150 not out. Kagiso Rabada claimed 3-175. In reply, South Africa closed off the 3rd day on 353/3 with Hashim Amla undefeated on 157. AB de Villiers was the only wicket to fall on the 3rd day, making 88 while Faf du Plessis will walk out with his captain unbeaten on 51.
COMMENTS & QUESTIONS: Do not forget that you can post your comments and questions either via Twitter using #SSCricket or by using the comment tab at the top of this feed.
POLL: Do not forget to get your votes in on this morning's poll. This will close in 4 minutes time.....What is your answer?
POLL ANSWER: Hashim scored 114 and 123 not out against INDIA at Eden Gardens in February 2010 as the Proteas lost by an innings and 57 runs. South Africa batted first, posting 296 all out with Amla and Alviro Petersen (100) scoring centuries. Zaheer Khan (4-90) and Harbhajan Singh (3-64) were the main protagonists. India then went on to amass 643/6 decl. with Sehwag (165), Tendulkar (106), Laxman (143*) and Dhoni (132*) slaughtering the bowlers. South Africa were then bowled out for 290 with Amla being left stranded. Harbhajan (5-59) and Amit Mishra (3-78) were the chief destroyers.
LAST BELL: We are almost ready to begin the 4th day with South Africa on 353/3. We wait with abated breath to see how the Proteas will go about their business today in 5 minutes time.
THE WALK: The umpires are making their way out onto the field. Amla and Faf du Plessis are waiting on the boundary rope and here come the England players.
LET'S GO: Jimmy Anderson has ball in hand and he will be bowling to Amla from the Kelvin Grove End.
@Straightdeal: Strike-rate is not always the be-all and end-all of a test match. Faf mentioned in the press conference last night that his job is to play the situation and if that means batting out a whole day then so be it. If the team needs to chase runs then he will do so.
MAIDEN: Amla sees off the first over of the morning without any alarm. Steven Finn is now bowling from the Wynberg End to Faf du Plessis.
PLAYED: Faf is off the mark for the day as Finn bowls short and Du Plessis pulls the ball through mid-wicket and picks up two runs. SA355/3 and trail by 274
NASTY: Finn replies with a ball just short of a length that spits up at Faf, who plays it with soft hands to keep the ball down.
BEATEN: A wonderful ball from Finn outside the off-stump beats the outside edge of Faf's bat.
GLORIOUS: A full ball from Anderson onto Amla's pads and the SA captain drives it through mid-wicket for the first boundary of the day.
SHOT: Another full ball from Anderson which Faf drives past mid-off and to the boundary for four runs. Anderson's second over of the morning costing 9 runs. South Africa 364/3 and trail England by 265 runs.
BLISS: Hashim Amla cracks Finn through the gully region and to the boundary for four runs to bring up the 100-run partnership in 189 minutes and off 245 balls.
NOT BAD: South Africa have added 15 runs in the first four overs of the morning. Good start by the home side.
CLIPPED: Amla clips Finn off his toes, down to fine leg for two runs. The bowler and fielders hold their heads because if Amla missed the ball, it would have been plumb-lbw!
SPIN TIME: Jimmy Anderson has been replaced at the Kelvin Grove End by Moeen Ali.
GOOD LEAVE: Finn bowls back of a length and Amla keeps the arms down and sways out of the way as the ball passes in front of his chest to Bairstow behind the stumps.
CRACKER: Short and wide from Finn and Amla cracks it behind point and to the boundary for four runs. Such was the timing and ferocity of the shot, that the fielder on the thirdman boundary was unable to cut it off.
POSITIVE: Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis have come out with a positive mindset this morning as they have reduced the deficit to under 250 at a good rate. Amla has moved to 176 while Du Plessis is on 59.
BALL CHANGE....AGAIN: We are having a little break at the moment ad the umpires are checking and changing the ball...again! Give us time to go get some water....
TRY AGAIN: The ball has been changed and given to Stuart Broad from the Wynberg End.
QUIET NOW: Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad have managed to string some dot balls together and reign South Africa in a bit.
GOOD STOP: Joe Root pulls off a good, one-handed stop at a wide second slip as Amla plays Broad along the ground off the face of the bat.
CLIPPED: Amla clips Broad through mid-wicket for two runs. Yesterday the batsmen would have just trundled through for a single but Faf pushed hard and came back for the second.
DRINKS: The players take some drinks now as South Africa have added 31 runs in the first hour. Amla is on 178 and Faf is on 61. The 4th-wicket stand is worth 116.
DROPPED: Faf du Plessis drives at Moeen, gets an outside edge which Anderson can't hold onto at slip. The ball was so quick off the bat that he barely had a chance to react as the ball goes down to the boundary for four runs.
MISFIELD: Faf squeezes a ball from Broad out into the covers but Alex Hales dives past the ball which allows the batsmen to trundle through for a single.
SWEEP: Amla sweeps Moeen down to the fine leg boundary and despite Bairstow whipping off his gloves and giving chase, the SA captain picks up four runs.
ROOTED: Joe Root has been brought into the attack, replacing Broad. The spinners might just be making a bit more of a contribution today and tomorrow as the pitch might just be taking a bit more turn.
SHOT: Faf du Plessis steps down the track and smashes Root down the ground for four runs to bring up the 400 for South Africa! Yes folks - 400 - you are reading it right!
MILESTONE: The boundary that Faf just smashed off Root has taken him to 70 which is his highest Test score at Newlands.
@JAY: Hi Jay, South Africa are currently 406/3 and require another 24 runs to avoid the follow-on.