England v South Africa: Final Test is pretty level, says Jonny Bairstow

England v South Africa: Jonny Bairstow says the final Test between England and South Africa is "pretty level"

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
andrew strauss
England are aiming to stay as the No1 Test side Photo: The Sport Review

andrew strauss

Jonny Bairstow believes the final Test between England and South Africa is “pretty level” after the tourists finished on 145-3 at the close of day three, 139 runs ahead.

The Yorkshire batsman fell five short of his first Test century earlier in the day, while Graeme Swann and Steve Finn provided resistance in the hosts’ tail-end, putting on a combined 32.

In South Africa’s second innings, Swann took the wicket of captain Graeme Smith, while Stuart Broad removed Alviro Petersen to get England off to a flying start.

But Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis stood firm, producing a third-wicket stand of 81, before Finn gave England’s hopes of salvaging a draw a boost by taking the wicket of Kallis lbw before the end of play.

“We were toiling pretty hard all afternoon, so to come away with that important wicket near the end was fantastic,” said Bairstow.

“It’s pretty level. If we can get a few wickets early on and then get the full seven, we’ll be looking to chase down anything we’re set.”

Bairstow admitted he was disappointed to fall short of his maiden Test century but the 22-year-old was pleased with his performance overall.

“In some ways it’s quite lucky, in some ways not so lucky, that I’ve been in some situations like that with Yorkshire.

“So when you walk to the crease and you’re under the pump a little bit it’s something I quite enjoy.

“No qualms about it – it was obviously a very tough period of play that we had to try to see ourselves through.”

He added: “I was pleased with the way that I played. To get 95, I was delighted.”

“I was a bit disappointed not to get to the 100. Although it is only five runs, it would have been nice.”

MORE:

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

BIOGRAPHY: Cesc Fabregas

The Sport Review
Frank Lampard: Why it’s difficult to criticise Eden Hazard at Chelsea
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Del Potro surges back vs Thiem at US Open – and on to year’s end
The Sport Review
Graeme Souness reacts to Mohamed Salah’s display in Liverpool FC’s 1-1 draw with Everton
The Sport Review
Jamie Carragher sends blunt message to Dejan Lovren after Liverpool FC v Everton