England vs South Africa 2017, fourth Test match, Day 3

Olivier picked up the lone wicket to fall in the first session

Moeen Ali's half-century has all but put the game beyond South Africa.

That's certainly what Moeen Ali did as he smashed Keshav Maharaj for a superbly-struck straight six at Old Trafford, and then there waiting on the England balcony to casually claim the catch was none other than Jonny Bairstow.

When rain ended the third's play early in the third session, England were 224 for 8 in their second innings - a lead of 360 runs - with Moeen unbeaten on 67.

That left James Anderson high and dry on 4/38 - one scalp shy of what would have been his first five-wicket haul in tests at his home ground‚ where an end was named after him before the match.

Moeen made South Africa pay for Dean Elgar dropping him on 15 when a low slip chance off Keshav Maharaj did not stick. At lunch, England were 53 for 2, with Keaton Jennings - dropped in the slips on nought - 17 not out.

Four overs after that Tom Westley‚ who scored nine‚ also steered Morkel to gully - where Aiden Markram took the catch.

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The forecast for Tuesday suggests that England will need to finish the game in four days if they want to seal a third victory in the series, and although they do not need it to retain the Basil D'Oliveira Trophy, South Africa's target already looks too great in the conditions. He had added just one to his interval score when he edged a cut off Kagiso Rabada to first slip Hashim Amla.

It would leave England searching to appoint a replacement before the start of this winter's Ashes in November, with former Australia bowler and Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie a possible interim appointment for that series.

It took England 22 deliveries to take the 10th wicket, for the addition of six runs, when number 11 Olivier mishooked Broad for a steepling catch to Jonny Bairstow.

Despite being set for a morale-boosting Test victory over South Africa, selectors will be anxious about the batting line-up with just three Tests against a depleted West Indies to come before they travel to Australia for the biggest Test series of them all against Australia.

Ali nearly played his first ball from Olivier into the stumps but cut loose after being put down by Elgar - sweeping strongly and hitting Maharaj off his line. Two balls later the crowd sensed a major momentum shift when skipper Faf du Plessis's inside edge rattled the stumps.

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