61st over: South Africa 188-3 (Amla 70, du Plessis 23) “Afternoon Rob,” says Dave Adams. “A fair whiff of 1990s-style futility to this. How many hours have we all spent watching England in this situation? Third innings, already further behind than any realistic run chase, and a lot of hard yards in the field to look forward to. For the players, mental disintegration ((c) SR Waugh) will now be developing nicely. For me, it’s oddly relaxing, this loss of all hope. It’s the latter, after all, that causes all the angst.”
It’ll never be worse than Brisbane 2006. Never. Look at the target Ponting set England: 648! The OBO was fun that night. Anyhow, that’s it from me. Adam Collins will be with you for the rest of the day. You can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org or @collinsadam. Bye!
60th over: South Africa 186-3 (Amla 69, du Plessis 22) This has been Wood’s fastest spell of the match, though it’s probably too late to save his place for the next Test. He is bowling some rough stuff from around the wicket to the right-handed Amla and du Plessis, who pay it no heed. Amla has put away the pull in this innings, having been dismissed that way in the first innings.
“Whoever said during this match that Amla was pretty much past it needs a good slap,” says Robert Wilson. “It smacked of all the dirty talk about the clapped-out Warne in 2005. Statisticians and general soothsayers all cringe when cricket folk start this stuff. A half decent student of probability will give you a good formula for your odds of ending up looking like an arse. There is no more predictable outcome in all of human endeavour. And none that comes with more of an ouch. Ton now a certainty.”
It was me wot said it, and I accept – nay, encourage – the slap. All I really said was that he was past his peak, which he is, unquestionably; it occurred around 2012. That makes performances like this all the more enjoyable. It’s almost a pleasure to have your hopes and dreams put to sleep by him.
59th over: South Africa 185-3 (Amla 67, du Plessis 22) Broad replaces Stokes, du Plessis rifles four through mid-off. It’s all just detail; South Africa have won this match.
58th over: South Africa 181-3 (Amla 67, du Plessis 18) After a bit of excitement either side of lunch, when Ben Stokes endeavoured to raise hell, it has…