South Africa closes in as England 79-4 in 2nd test

NOTTINGHAM, England (AP) Joe Root had his off stump knocked out the ground as England lost four wickets in the first session and slid toward defeat on Day 4 of the second test against South Africa on Monday.

England captain Root was bowled by Chris Morris for eight – the wicket South Africa really wanted – to leave England 79-4 at lunch and still 395 runs off its imposing target of 474.

Morris also removed Alastair Cook soon before lunch and Vernon Philander claimed two early scalps for South Africa, putting the tourists six wickets away from a series-leveling victory at Trent Bridge.

England’s openers survived four nervy overs on Sunday night but couldn’t see out the first two overs on the fourth day, with Keaton Jennings (3) bowled by Philander to put South Africa on top from the beginning of the session.

Philander also got rid of Gary Ballance lbw for four after a successful review by South Africa. It was another failure for Ballance after being recalled for this series.

Morris took the two most important wickets for South Africa with contrasting deliveries.

His swinging yorker beat Root and took out the in-form England skipper’s off stump.

Six overs later, Morris produced a bouncer that surprised Cook and England’s all-time leading test run-scorer gloved a catch down the legside to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

Jonny Bairstow (12 not out) and Ben Stokes (5 not out) survived to lunch.

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