Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes pushed England two steps closer to a memorable series win on the fourth morning of the decisive final Test against South Africa in Johannesburg.
The final innings of the match got under way with the hosts 465 runs behind and with two days ahead of them at the Wanderers, and by lunch they had lost both openers in a score of 90 for two.
Pieter Malan and Dean Elgar successfully blunted the new ball as they made 39 in the first hour, but Woakes struck immediately after the drinks break to get England on the board as they sought to seal a 3-1 victory in the Basil D’Oliveira Trophy.
2️⃣ down 8️⃣ to go…
Big afternoon session ahead!
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) January 27, 2020
Having soaked up 51 deliveries for 22 runs Malan gave it away with a loose drive outside off, edging through to Stokes at slip.
Woakes had number three Rassie Van Der Dussen given lbw for a duck four balls later but the batsman successfully overturned the verdict of DRS and went on to add a solid stand of 50 with Elgar.
The latter was visibly attempting to dig in for a long stay but Van Der Dussen, having avoided the ignominy of a pair when he pulled Woakes for four, took a more dashing approach as he made 39 not out.
South Africa have lost their second wicket and it's the crucial one of opener Dean Elgar.
— ICC (@ICC) January 27, 2020
When faced with the occasional off-spin of Joe Root he cut loose, striking four boundaries and a big six as the England skipper leaked 23 runs in three overs.
The interval was approaching with a solitary success for the fielding side but Stokes interjected in his last over before lunch, digging a short ball in at Elgar’s helmet and gathering the return catch as the opener flailed in self-defence.