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England stretch lead to 216 runs after Alastair Cook half-century

Alastair Cook celebrating his half-century on day three at Lord's
Alastair Cook celebrating his half-century on day three at Lord's

England 458 & 119-1 (Cook 59no) v
South Africa 361 (Ali 4-59)
First Test, Lord's, day three

Alastair Cook's determined half-century helped England post 119 for one at stumps on day three, thereby stretching their lead to 216 runs on day three of the first Test against South Africa at Lord's.

Earlier in the day, England bowled out South Africa for 361 runs and gained a handy 97 run first innings lead.

South Africa resumed the day with a score of 214 for five. Temba Bavuma (59), who scored just one run in the first five overs of the day, finally reached his half-century with a boundary in the 75th over and had Kagiso Rabada (27) at the other end.

The duo almost saw through the first hour of play but Liam Dawson (2-67) provided England with the breakthrough after having Rabada caught behind and in the next over Moeen Ali (4-59) accounted for Bavuma as South Africa slipped to 248 for seven.

Quinton de Kock (51) counterattacked the England attack including a hat-trick of boundaries scored in the 84th over bowled by Stuart Broad (2-62).

De Kock went severe on the Nottinghamshire pacer, hitting him for three more boundaries in the 90th over to bring the 50-run stand for the eighth wicket with Vernon Philander (52). With two more fours in the 92nd over, de Kock raced to a 36-ball half century but fell in the next over from James Anderson (2-44).

South Africa went into lunch with a score of 323 for eight, adding 109 runs in the first session.

Despite, the fall of Keshav Maharaj (9) in the second session, Philander, who had been hit on the glove during his innings and had to undergo scan later in the day reached his sixth Test fifty before was dismissed by Ali. South Africa ended their first innings with a score of 361 runs.

Having a handy lead of 97 runs in the first innings, England were boosted further by the news that Philander will not come to bowl for the rest of the day.

In the fifth over of the innings, Cook (59 not out) survived a review from South Africa with the delivery from Morne Morkel (1-25) pitching outside leg.

After going at a very slow pace, Cook opened up scoring four boundaries in the ninth and 10th overs combined as England went into tea with a score of 48 for naught.

The 50-run opening stand between Cook and Keaton Jennings (33) came in the 20th over and just when Jennings started to look good, he edged a Morkel delivery behind the stumps, bringing an end to a 80 run stand.

Gary Ballance (22 not out) looked confident from outset while Cook completed another fine half-century as England ended day one at 119 for one, stretching their lead to 216 runs.

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