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English can still get out of jail, says Anderson

By Rory Dollard

Published 26/01/2016

In the mood: Jimmy Anderson took AB de Villiers' wicket
In the mood: Jimmy Anderson took AB de Villiers' wicket

James Anderson is hoping for another great escape to add to his collection when England look to bat out the final day of the Test series in South Africa.

Anderson has been present during some of England's most memorable rearguards of recent years, memorably shutting out Australia alongside Monty Panesar at Cardiff in 2009 as well as featuring in backs-to-the-wall efforts twice on England's last tour of South Africa and again in Auckland three years ago.

England are staring down the barrel at Centurion, on 52 for three in pursuit of a notional 382 on a pitch with unpredictable bounce and plenty of turn for the spinners.

Paul Collingwood and Graham Onions ensured a stalemate with England nine down on the same ground six years ago and Anderson believes the mindset in the away dressing room is perfect for another get away.

"We'll be giving it a good go," he said after England's top three fell in 21 awkward overs before stumps. "Obviously it will be a tough task for us - especially on that pitch, which we've seen plenty of deterioration on.

"But we're going to give it a good go and be positive. The batsmen left are positive naturally, just in attitude and character.

"It's not just the way people go about scoring runs it's actually positive in the fact we've got people who know they can bat a whole day in a Test. We've got the skill to do it.

"We'll need a bit of luck as well on a pitch like that, we've seen bit of variable bounce and bit of spin as well."

Anderson began day four in memorable fashion at SuperSport Park, dismissing Stephen Cook early and then sending home captain AB de Villiers packing with probably his best ball of the tour, a classic full-pitch inswinger.

In his pre-match press call, De Villiers had seemingly suggested Anderson had "lost some pace over the years", so consigning him to a third successive duck was a matter of personal pride.

"It was nice to get the captain out," he said. "I'm sure the smile on your face is referring to the comments he made before the game, which were mentioned in the huddle, so yeah, it's nice to get him out early because he's a dangerous player."

He followed with a tongue-in-cheek reference to De Villiers' words, adding: "I don't think he's lost ability. Some batters might play and miss a lot, he's nicked pretty much everything."

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