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Quick Moeen fifty stretch England's lead to 360 runs

Moeen Ali (centre) celebrating his century on day three at Old Trafford
Moeen Ali (centre) celebrating his century on day three at Old Trafford

England 362 & 224-8 (Moeen 67no) v
South Africa 226 (Anderson 4-38)
Fourth Test, Old Trafford, day three

Moeen Ali scored a blistering unbeaten half-century as England managed to reach 224 for eight, thereby taking their lead to 360 runs before rain brought a premature end to the third day in the fourth Test against South Africa at Old Trafford.

South Africa, who started the day at 219 for nine, managed to bat just 25 deliveries in which they added just seven runs and were bowled out for 226 runs.

Having a massive 136 run lead in the first innings, England made a cautious start to their innings. Keaton Jennings (18) was handed an early reprieve when he was put down by Dean Elgar in the sixth over but Morne Morkel (2-39) picked Alastair Cook (10) yet again.

Tom Westley (9) became the second wicket of Morkel when he was caught at gully in the 11th over and few overs later, Keaton Jennings (18) survived a review from South Africa for LBW. England went into lunch at 53 for two.

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Jennings' 63 ball vigil ended in the second over of the post lunch session when he was snared by Kagiso Rabada (2-37) and soon Dawid Malan (6) was caught at short leg. England were reeling at 72 for four at that stage.

Ben Stokes (23) and Joe Root (49) pulled things back a bit with a 67 run stand for the fifth wicket to take the lead past the 250 run mark.

A triple strike from Duanne Olivier (3-38) that saw the back of Root, Stokes and Jonny Bairstow (10) in quick succession, Moeen (67 not out) with his 59 ball knock that had eight boundaries and three sixes helped England seize the momentum, with Toby Roland-Jones (11) providing brief support at the other end.

Even though, Rabada managed to remove Roland-Jones at the stroke of stumps, Moeen ensured England reached 224 for eight in 66.2 overs when rain arrived as only 72.2 overs of play were possible in the day.

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