Finn blow makes for even stevens
Steven Finn claimed the crucial wicket of Jacques Kallis late on day three to keep the third and final Investec Test at Lord’s finely balanced.
Finn trapped the experienced right-hander, whose Test record in England and in particular at the home of cricket is modest, for 31 despite a review. Shortly before stumps Hashim Amla, who put on 81 with Kallis, brought up a fifty and South Africa closed on 145 for three - a lead of 139.
Once Amla - who ended unbeaten on 57 - offered a diving chance to Matt Prior down leg off Stuart Broad on two, the third-wicket duo capitalized on ideal batting conditions to give their side the initiative.
They came together at 50 for two after Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen had wiped out England’s advantage. The opening batsmen were building a useful stand when they were respectively lbw to Graeme Swann and Broad inside three overs.
Jonny Bairstow’s 95 underpinned the hosts’ 315, during which Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn shared eight wickets. Bairstow, who had been tied down in the 90s, missed a maiden Test ton when he was bowled by Morkel. That brought together Swann and Finn, who added 32 for the last wicket.
6:33pm - STUMPS: SA 145/3; Amla 57, Steyn 0 - An absorbing day ends with the game still fairly evenly balanced thanks to Finn’s late wicket.
6:31pm - FIFTY Amla (95b 7x4 0x6) - The elegant right-hander drives Broad down the ground for four to reach a half-century and takes another boundary through the covers for good measure.
6:25pm - Nightwatchman Dale Steyn receives treatment after being struck by Finn.
6:11pm - WICKET! Kallis lbw Finn 31; 131/3 - Finn traps Kallis lbw to give England a huge boost. A review fails to save the right-hander, who thought he had got an inside edge.
5:57pm - Finn has a loud lbw appeal against Amla turned down. England do not review and replays prove it was not worth their while.
5:48pm - Amla clips a full Swann ball to square-leg for a boundary and Kallis guides Finn to the vacant third-man rope for four more.
5:39pm - After Finn replaces Anderson, Amla is fortunate to survive when he inside-edges a loose shot narrowly past his stumps for two.
5:35pm - Swann has two consecutive lbw appeals against Amla turned down. England review neither, the first narrowly missing off stump and the second going past leg according to Hawkeye.
5:32pm - Kallis guides Anderson to third man for four, taking South Africa’s lead into three figures, and the seamer then strays for four leg-side byes. Anderson has been warned by umpire Simon Taufel for running on the pitch. England need a wicket soon.
5:23pm - Amla gets a thick outside for four off Anderson, bringing up South Africa’s 100 and the fifty partnership.
5:16pm - James Anderson replaces Broad from the Pavilion End. Amla whips him towards the midwicket rope and Jonathan Trott chases to save a run with a dive. Amla later in the over guides a four square on the off side.
5:12pm - Swann drops short and wide to Amla, who punishes the spinner with a cut boundary.
5:06pm - Immediately following the drinks break, Kallis steers a short Broad ball over the slip cordon for four. He ends the over with a back-foot square drive to the rope.
4:57pm - Kallis attempts to hook a Broad bouncer and is struck on the helmet with the ball flying over wicketkeeper Prior for four leg-byes.
4:50pm - Amla interrupts the pressure by steering Broad through backward point for four and Jacques Kallis follows suit by lifting Swann for four between midwicket and mid-on.
4:40pm - WICKET! Petersen lbw Broad 24; SA 50/2 - Stuart Broad quickly overcomes the disappointment of Matt Prior dropping a diving chance to remove Hashim Amla down leg two balls earlier by bringing one in to Petersen, who does not review.
4:27pm - WICKET! Smith lbw Swann 23; SA 46/1 - Swann has had Smith in all sorts of trouble and finally gets his man. The left-hander tries an ambitious sweep and is trapped in front.
4:13pm - Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen are playing sensibly here, with both happy to operate defensively as England seek an elusive breakthrough. Swann, however, shows his threat by turning one sharply past the former's edge, prompting a wasted review from Andrew Strauss.
4pm - The players are back in the middle for what can only be described as a crucial evening session. England need wickets, quick wickets, if they are to set up the victory they require to remain at the summit of the ICC rankings. Graeme Swann has cherry in hand first up.
3:40pm - TEA; SA 33/0; Petersen 20 Smith 13 - England have not been able to make the breakthrough they sought in the hour before tea. With South Africa leading by 27, they will need a wicket soon after the interval.
3:29pm - Swann and Steven Finn have come into the attack. Smith cuts the latter in front of square for his first four.
3:16pm - Graeme Swann takes over from Broad at the Nursery End and begins with a maiden to Smith.
3:14pm - Anderson has an lbw appeal against Petersen turned town and England do not review. It hit the right-hander outside the line and was missing off stump.
3:10pm - Smith pulls Broad behind square-leg and Jonny Bairstow does brilliantly to cut off the boundary and keep it to two runs.
3:02pm - Petersen continues to impress with an eased four to the cover boundary. Anderson follows with a maiden to Smith.
2:57pm - Petersen cuts Anderson between gully and backward point for four.
2:52pm - Broad has a strong lbw shout against Petersen turned down. England think about the review but do not ask for it and replays show the batsman had hit it.
2:47pm - Petersen clips Anderson through midwicket for four to wipe out South Africa’s arrears in an otherwise runless over.
2:45pm - Stuart Broad partners Anderson and concedes a single to both Graeme Smith and Petersen in his first over.
2:41pm - James Anderson, bowling from the Pavilion End, delivers a maiden to Alviro Petersen.
2:28pm - WICKET! Finn c Duminy b Morkel 10; Eng 315ao - Morkel comes back into the attack and has Finn caught by JP Duminy running to his left from backward point, ending a stand worth 32, which has given England a first-innings lead of six.
2:23pm - Finn edges Philander to first slip Graeme Smith, who surprisingly shells a regulation chance to more crowd cheers.
2:17pm - Swann plays Steyn to fine-leg for a single to move England level and Finn then takes a quick single to put them in front, drawing another cheer and more applause from the sun-baked crowd.
2:14pm - Swann smites Philander over mid-off for four, bringing loud cheers from the crowd. He takes a single into the off-side to put England one run behind.
2:08pm - Swann is happy to trust Finn, taking a single from the first ball for a fourth straight over. Steyn switches to round the wicket and Finn responds by pulling him for four to bring up England’s 300.
2:02pm - Steyn bowls a brute of a bouncer to Finn, who is struck on he back of the helmet and picks up a leg-bye. Swann takes a single to third-man from the last ball of the over.
1:57pm - Vernon Philander replaces Tahir and gets one to keep low to Finn, who does well to block it. If more balls behave like that, the two second innings could be particularly interesting.
1:53pm - Steven Finn works Steyn to deep square-leg for two to take England 16 behind South Africa’s first-innings 309.
1:49pm - Tahir partners Steyn and is slog-swept for four by Swann from the last ball of the over.
1:44pm - WICKET! Anderson c Rudolph b Steyn 12; Eng 283/9 - Dale Steyn begins the afternoon session from the Pavilion End and James Anderson runs him down to third-man where Imran Tahir’s slip let Anderson come back for three. Graeme Swann then drives down the ground for three, putting Anderson back on strike. The left-hander loops a short ball to Jacques Rudolph running in from point.
1:02pm - LUNCH; Eng 277/8; Swann 14, Anderson 9 - Anderson receives treatment after the left-hander was hit on the left elbow by a Morkel delivery when he missed a shot off the back foot. The delay makes Morkel’s the last over before the interval.
12:51pm - Philander replaces Steyn and produces a tidy over with lunch approaching.
12:47pm - James Anderson impressively plays Morkel down the ground for three. He and Swann are rotating the strike well.
12:37pm - WICKET! Bairstow b Morkel 95 - Major disappointment for the 22-year-old, who is bowled between bat and pad after South Africa kept him on that score for 15 balls.
12:33pm - REVIEW - Steyn strikes Swann at the top of the knee role and the bowler’s appeal is upheld. Swann, on 12, reviews and replays show the ball just going over the top of the stumps.
12:26pm - Bairstow twice consecutively plays and a misses with attempted square-cuts in a Morkel maiden, which keeps him on 95.
12:21pm - Swann deliberately slices Steyn over gully for four and immediately pulls him for another.
12:15pm - Graeme Swann gets off the mark with a single to fine-leg from the last ball of Steyn’s over to leave England 56 behind with three wickets left. A similar run from the next delivery puts Bairstow on strike with five needed for a hundred.
12:11pm - WICKET! Broad c Amla b Steyn 16; Eng 252/7 - The left-hander, trying to work a short-of-a-length ball behind square on the leg side, loops a simple catch to Hashim Amla at short-leg. A tame dismissal.
12:06pm - Morkel takes over from Philander at the Nursery End and Broad times a back-foot four through point. The lower-order batsman takes two to midwicket to bring up England’s 250.
11:59am - Steyn beats Bairstow’s outside edge and, next ball, draws a thick edge that evades third slip and goes for four. The drinks break follows the over.
11:54am - Baistow clips a Philander ball on off stump through midwicket for four to go to 90.
11:51am - Broad elegantly hits Steyn on the up through cover for his first boundary.
11:45am - Bairstow and Broad rotate the strike with some nifty running in the gaps of an attacking field.
11:37am - Philander goes round the wicket to the left-handed Stuart Broad, who is hit on the boot by an inswinging yorker. The lbw appeal is turned down and the Proteas do not review. Philander then completes a wicket-maiden.
11:31am - WICKET! Prior c Kallis b Philander 27; Eng 221/6 - No surprise as South Africa immediately take the new ball, with Vernon Philander replacing Tahir. The seamer strikes with his first delivery as Prior edges a drive to Kallis diving to his right at second slip.
11:26am - Dale Steyn takes over from Morkel at the Pavilion End and twice in a row beats Prior’s outside edge with a beauties.
11:24am - Leg-spinner Tahir replaces Kallis in the penultimate over before the new ball is available, which means it could be his only over for a while.
11:22am - Runs are at a premium in the face of tight bowling, but Bairstow picks up two just wide of mid-on to move to 80.
11:13am - Bairstow neatly clips Morkel through square-leg and down the hill, just beating Imran Tahir’s despairing dive for the day’s first boundary.
11:10am - Kallis completes a maiden over to Prior, who is content to bide his time early in the day’s play. The second new ball is due in five overs.
11:03am - Morne Morkel partners Kallis in the attack. Matt Prior, on 22 overnight, takes a single to cover from the last ball of the over.
11am - South Africa have had a squad photograph taken with the pavilion in the background and former England coach, now television commentator, David Lloyd has rung the bell. Jacques Kallis begins from the Nursey End to Jonny Bairstow, who gets going with two to midwicket.
10:50am - Bell spoke to the media after yesterday’s play and highlighted improvements in Bairstow’s game since his only previous three Tests versus West Indies earlier this summer.
10:40am - The hosts recovered from 54 for four yesterday thanks to a 124-run stand between Ian Bell and Jonny Bairstow. Bell fell to Vernon Philander for 58, but Bairstow continued and reached 72 not out alongside Matt Prior.
10:30am - Good morning and welcome to a gloriously sunny Lord’s. Conditions are perfect for batting, which England will hope to do for much of the day. They will resume on 208 for five in reply to South Africa’s first-innings 309.