Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 October 2020

In pictures: England poised for victory in third Test against South Africa after Joe Root takes four wickets

Captain takes career-best figures as Proteas head for humiliating defeat in Port Elizabeth

Spouth Africa were put to the sword by an unlikely foe in the third Test on Sunday after being forced to follow on by England.

The gentle spin of captain Joe Root proved unusually deadly as he took 4-31 in Port Elizabeth – his best figures in Test cricket – to leave South Africa on 102-6, still 188 runs short of avoiding an innings defeat.

Barring one extremely long intervention by the weather, the tourists look assured of taking an unbeatable 2-1 series lead into the final Test starting in Johannesburg starting on Friday.

They needed only 28 balls to dismiss South Africa's last four batsmen for the addition of a single run at the start of play, with Stuart Broad picking up three of the wickets without conceding a run.

Rain early in South Africa's second innings threatened to thwart England's push for victory but fast bowler Mark Wood struck twice when play resumed more than three hours later.

Wood used his extreme pace to send Dean Elgar's off stump flying out of the ground before he had Zubayr Hamza feeling for a ball outside his leg stump to present a catch to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

"I love it," Wood said of his return to Test cricket after almost a year out of the side and his first match of any type since being injured in the World Cup final last July.

"I'm wrapped up like a mummy in my left leg," he said of the strapping aimed at preventing further injuries. "Bowling Elgar was a great feeling."

Root took the next four wickets, bowling from the same end from where fellow off-spinner Dom Bess took five wickets in the first innings.

Wood said: "He does get key wickets when he bowls and he's been working at it in the nets. At practice he's been doing a lot more bowling."

Updated: January 20, 2020 08:59 AM

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