England on top after Ollie Pope’s maiden century and two wickets from Dom Bess


• Third Test day two: England 499-9 dec; South Africa 60-2
• Ollie Pope scores unbeaten 135 and shares stand of 203

Now for the tricky bit. England’s pursuit of 20 South African wickets in this match has begun and it will require much hard graft and ingenuity plus the standard of support in the field that was to the fore in Cape Town for them to win this match. But they made significant inroads in the closing overs. By then South Africa were 60 for two and a long way adrift of England’s total of 499 for nine declared.

Joe Root had been able to declare early in the final session thanks to his overnight batsmen, Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope, posting centuries of high quality on a surface that seemed to hold few threats for hawk-eyed batsmen. A Stokes hundred is hardly headline news at the moment, such is his rich vein of form and his determination to exploit it. But his partner’s century had the feel of a papal decree. The gist of the announcement is that the 22-year-old Pope is ready for the Test arena and he clearly enjoys the special buzz of Test cricket. In his sixth Test a major hurdle for an aspiring young batsman has been surmounted in some style. He already qualifies as a serious player.

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Written by Vic Marks in Port Elizabeth
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/jan/17/south-africa-england-third-test-day-two-report-cricket under the title “England on top after Ollie Pope’s maiden century and two wickets from Dom Bess”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.