43rd over: South Africa 95-7 (de Kock 33, Pretorius 2) South Africa are a mess. It’s sad to see, and also a little bewildering given how well they played in the first two Tests.
WICKET! South Africa 93-7 (Philander c Broad b Woakes 4)
Chris Woakes will open the bowling, a nice reward for a high-class performance yesterday. And he needs only three balls to take the first wicket of the day! It was a poor delivery in truth, well outside leg stump, but Woakes won’t care. Philander tried to help it on its way, was through the shot too early and got a leading edge to mid-off.
42nd over: South Africa 88-6 (de Kock 32, Philander 0) Wood has one delivery remaining of his ninth over, having dismissed Nortje with the last ball of yesterday’s play. He bowls it to the new batsman Vernon Philander, who defends solidly.
Mark Wood makes the world a better place department
There’s a lovely interview with Wood and Stuart Broad on Sky right now.
Ian Ward Gentlemen, good morning. Mark Wood, genuine allrounder?
Mark Wood Ah, it’s nice to get a few. I’ll take it. ‘Genuine allrounder’ – I’ll take it.
Ian Ward Now, did you allow your wife to speak you last night or were you too busy watching yourself on the highlights?
Mark Wood I got the highlights in, don’t worry about that! Ah it was good, I actually gave Sarah a mention in the press conference. They said, ‘You’ve done a bit of work on your batting’ and I said, ‘Ah my wife fed us on the bowling machine a few times’, so I think we’re even.
Ian Ward (pointing at Broad) You were on time for this interview, he wasn’t. Why?
Broad I mean, to quote Mark Wood in the changing-room: ‘When I’m playing this well, the press can wait for me!’
Wood You two have set me up an absolute treat here! Wow.
Broad He is playing well though.
Ward What was your favourite shot?
Wood Ah, the six over cover! Internally I was buzzing but externally you’ve got to act cool, tap the pitch and stuff like that.
Morning. Even the pessimists think this is a done deal. England were so dominant yesterday that it’s hard to see anything other than a third consecutive victory. If that happens, it will be the first time since the 1954-55 Ashes that England have come from behind to win an overseas series 3-1.
Then, as now, one of the stars was an injury-prone fast bowler. Mark Wood doesn’t sledge people by quoting Wordsworth, as Frank Tyson did, but they do have the same appetite for destruction and ability to bowl in excess of 95mph. And although his record is nowhere near as good – Tyson averaged 18.56 from his 17 Tests – Wood’s performances since his recall in St Lucia last year have evoked the mythical devastation of Tyson in that Ashes series.
It’s a small sample size, for sure, but 12 wickets at 14.75 is eyecatching stuff. He was far too hot for South Africa yesterday, taking three of the six wickets that fell in the evening session, and he’ll be eyeing another five-for this morning. South Africa will resume on 88 for six, still 312 runs behind in a match they need to win. It’s a long way back from here.