Pieter Malan is showing lots of guts in his first Test and can be a hero tomorrow if he can lead South Africa to an unlikely win. The pitch is getting easier and despite a huge target of 438 runs, there are many positive signs which should provide hope to South African supporters.
England batted for 32 overs on day four and added 173 runs at a run rate above five. Ben Stokes played a blinder to score a 47-ball 72 with seven fours and three sixes. He was supported by Dom Sibley who reached his maiden Test century and remained not out for 133. The declaration finally came with the score on 391/8 with a lead of 437 runs. For South Africa, Anrich Nortje finished with 3/61 whereas Kagiso Rabada (2/69) and Keshav Maharaj (2/160) got two wickets each.
South Africa started strongly in their chase and England had to wait for 29 overs to get the first breakthrough, thanks to their fifth bowler Joe Denly. Dean Elgar was the man to go for 34. Pieter Malan and Zubayr Hamza added 52 runs for the second wicket during which Malan reached his maiden Test fifty. South Africa would have been in a better position if the duo could end the day unbeaten but experienced James Anderson provided a late blow to dismiss Hamza. South Africa ended the day with 126/2.
Faf de Plessis (South Africa): Pieter Malan looks set for a dream finish to his maiden Test match. However, he will need some support from the South African middle order and there is no better person than the captain Faf du Plessis who can be a perfect player to guide the chase. Faf du Plessis can play according to the situation, take South Africa towards to win or play long match-saving innings if required.
James Anderson (England): There is not much support in the pitch for the bowlers. However, England will hope their spinner, Dominic Bess, to be effective. But Bess lacks international experience and will look for support from others end and James Anderson is the best person for this. He can utilise his experience of 151 Tests to provide key breakthroughs for England on day five.
England 269 (Ollie Pope 61*; Kagiso Rabada 3/68) and 391/8 Dec (Dom Sibley 133*, Ben Stokes 72, Joe Root 61; Anrich Nortje 3/61) lead South Africa 223 (Dean Elgar 88, Rassie van der Dussen 68; James Anderson 5/40) and 126/2 (Pieter Malan 63*, James Anderson 1/18) by 312 runs.
England to win late after strong South African resistance.