When it rains, it pours.
Hot on the heels of learning that they won’t be able to pick Kagiso Rabada for the second Test, the Proteas missed yet another of their frontline bowlers during Saturday’s third day of the first Test against England at Lord’s.
Vernon Philander wasn’t able to take the field for the hosts’ second innings after a nasty blow on his right hand while batting.
The stocky seamer was taken for X-rays, which thankfully revealed no fracture.
Team management confirmed he was only being treated for severe swelling.
That was the good news.
The bad news is that England ended the day on 119/1, a lead of 216 runs.
South Africa might have Philander available for the rest of the series but his absence has led to the game getting away from his side.
To be honest, the Proteas did well to restrict England to an overall run rate of 2.3 per over but it probably won’t matter much as they need wickets.
Alastair Cook’s unbeaten 59 has given the home side a perfect platform to attack from on day four.
Earlier, the Proteas showed some guts to compile 361 in their first innings.
Philander was influential in making a gutsy 52 but one wonders whether South Africa’s specialist batters wasted good platforms.
Temba Bavuma top-scored with 59 though he really now needs to convert these fifties into hundreds.
Later on, Quinton de Kock made a mockery of an increasingly difficult pitch in racing to a fifty off 36 balls with 10 fours.
However, he then charged Jimmy Anderson (2/44) and was brilliantly caught off a leading edge.
Another wasted opportunity.
Moeen Ali was England’s most successful bowler with fine figures of 4/59.
Source: The Citizen Sport
Full Story: Philander absence heaps further misery on Proteas