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Rabada's seven-wicket haul puts South Africa in dominant position

Rabada's seven-wicket haul puts South Africa in dominant position
Kagiso Rabada (left) celebrating his five-wicket haul after dismissing Jonny Bairstow in the first innings in Centurion.
©REUTERS / Action Images

South Africa 475 & 42-1 (Stephen 23no) v
England 342 (Rabada 7-112)
Fourth Test, day three, Centurion

Kagiso Rabada produced his career best figures of 112 for seven to dismiss England for 342 in their first innings after which South Africa extended their lead to 175 runs with nine wickets in hand at stumps on day three of the fourth Test in Centurion.

England resumed the day at 138 for two. South Africa conceded just two runs in the first four overs to build the pressure on the England batsmen.

However, Joe Root (76) shifted gears with a couple of boundaries in the 51st over from Kyle Abbott (0-36) and later plundered Rabada (7-112) for 16 runs in the 54th over to bring up his fifty off 92 deliveries.

South Africa wasted a review on Alastair Cook (76) off Morne Morkel (2-73) for a caught behind decision as the replays suggested that the ball missed the bat by some distance.

However, three overs later, Morkel ended the 99-run stand with a beauty of a delivery which Cook feathered to Quinton de Kock.

James Taylor (14) started the innings confidently hitting a boundary in the very next delivery to get off the mark.

On the other end, Root made a successful use of a review after he was given out caught behind on the leg side off Dane Piedt (0-78). The replays showed he had missed the ball.

The real damage for England came in the next spell of Rabada where he picked three wickets in a span of two overs to put the visitors in a spot of bother.

He first had Root caught behind and later removed Taylor and Jonny Bairstow (0) in the similar fashion as England headed into lunch at 211 for six.

The wicket of Bairstow also gave Rabada his second five-wicket haul.

The onus was once again on Ben Stokes (33) to take England out of danger as he scored two boundaries in four overs after which there was a brief rain interruption.

Stokes smashed Piedt for a boundary and six in the 81st over off Piedt to bring the 250 for England.

Rabada returned with the new ball and straight away had Stokes caught at second slip to bring his sixth wicket. In the next over from Morkel, Chris Woakes (26) was dropped by de Kock.

Woakes and Moeen Ali (61) added 43 runs for the eighth wicket to take England close to the 300-run mark.

JP Duminy (1-21) proved handy with his off-spin as he had Woakes caught at first slip after the ball ricocheted off de Kock's thigh.

With four more boundaries from Ali, England went into tea at 318 for eight, trailing the Proteas by 157 runs.

The very first delivery in the final session, Hashim Amla dropped Ali off Duminy but in the next over Rabada had Stuart Broad (5) caught at deep square leg.

Ali brought his fifty with a crashing pull shot but eventually was dismissed by Morkel as England were dismissed for 342 allowing South Africa a first innings lead of 133 runs.

Rabada was the best bowler on display once again with a seven-wicket haul while Morkel managed two wickets.

James Anderson (1-14) provided the initial breakthrough for England after Dean Elgar (1) edged an away moving delivery to Bairstow.

With a cautious approach from Stephen Cook (23 not out) and Amla (16 not out), South Africa managed 35 for one in 14 overs.

That's when the light deteriorated leading to an early end to day three. South Africa now lead England by 175 runs with nine wickets in hand.

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