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Wednesday 05
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Cricket

Sibley ton gives England edge

6th January 2020, 16:43 by Neil Foster

England need eight wickets to win the second Test and square the series with South Africa after Dom Sibley's maiden five-day century.

Sibley, 24, ended day three unbeaten on 85 and admitted that he hardly slept a wink ahead of Monday's resumption, with his eyes firmly on a first Test ton.

That duly came as he swept Keshav Maharaj for four, bringing up three figures from 269 deliveries.

The Warwickshire man went on to carry his bat for an unbeaten 133 while Ben Stokes' 47-ball 72 gave the innings a nudge in the right direction.

Jos Buttler (23) and Sam Curran (13) fell in the pursuit of quick runs, with skipper Joe Root finally calling time when they had reached 391-8.

Despite Stokes' super effort, the day belonged to Sibley, who confessed that he will never forget the moment.

"It's one of the best days of my life," he told Sky Sports. "I was a bit nervy of 95 when I edged Rabada through the slips, but then I managed to get one away off Maharaj.

"As soon as I saw it get full, I went for the sweep and just wanted to avoid the top edge. Luckily I got it off the middle."

The Proteas require a record 438 to win and the chase began well, with Dean Elgar and Pieter Malan putting on an opening stand of 71.

Elgar fell to the part-time leg-spin of Joe Denly for 34 despite asking for a review for the caught behind decision.

James Anderson removed Zubayr Hamza for 18 just before stumps, with South Africa reaching 126-2, and the hosts will need Malan to build on his unbeaten 63 on day five if Faf du Plessis's side are to emerge with a draw.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Neil Foster is an experienced journalist who specialises in cricket and rugby union. Neil also has a solid knowledge of tennis, golf and football.

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