James Anderson: The rate that we were scoring, it might only have needed another five or six overs to win

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Anderson, Broad call for common sense to prevail after openers motor towards victory target

James Anderson and Stuart Broad confessed to a combination of dissatisfaction and compassion toward the umpires at the end of another enthralling day’s play in the third and last Test against South Africa.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad confessed to a combination of dissatisfaction and compassion toward the umpires at the end of another enthralling day’s play in the third and last Test against South Africa after a capacity crowd was denied the possibility of seeing an England victory march by the onset of bad light.

“It’s frustrating from our point of view,”

Anderson told Sky Sports.

“The rate that we were scoring, it might only have needed another five or six overs. The guys were seeing the ball pretty well, and with a good crowd in here tonight, it would have been nice to finish it.

“But we understand what the point of view of the umpires is,”

he said.

“They’ve taken a reading yesterday. That’s the precedent for the whole game. And I think their message is, if it rains all day tomorrow, it would be unfair on South Africa if they just tried to get the game done tonight. But I’d like to think that common sense could prevail now and then.”

Broad also recognized that the umpires could not be blamed for having to follow the letter of the law as it stands.

“If you’re neutral making decisions, it was probably a fair call,”

Broad said.

“The umpires communicated it very clearly with Zak and Leesy out there. They were saying, look, we’re running out of time here … we don’t have long left. It’s not as if they said, right we’re coming off.

“But we’re naturally disappointed and frustrated, particularly as the guys were going so well. Leesy hit the last ball of the day through the covers for four and was seeing it fine. I can see that side of it but as a changing room, we’re frustrated that we didn’t get to finish it in front of the crowd that has been with us all day.”

It was a perspective upheld by the former England skipper Nasser Hussain on Sky Sports, who approached the specialists to conform to the predominant late-season conditions.

“You cannot be cross with the umpires, they are doing their job,”

Hussain said.

“The people who set the rules need to take a look. Do they think that suddenly, in September, it’s going to get bright at 6.45 pm? It’s not. If you have to make up half an hour, start half an hour early, rather than adding on at the end of the day. But you’ve got a full house here. Cricket can’t just shoot itself in the foot, by picking up the bails and walking off.”

Either way, the decision ran counter to the entertainment-first ethos that Stokes and Brendon McCullum have instilled to such good effect in their side this summer, with England now all but assured of finishing the summer with six victories in seven Tests, every one of them accomplished along these lines after batting second and allowing their bowlers to zero in on taking 20 wickets.

“It’s been amazing,”

Anderson added.

“Baz has been a breath of fresh air, it just feels like a positive atmosphere in that dressing room. The message he sends about going out there and trying to entertain, everyone’s bought into it.

“Yes, some days it hasn’t come off, but when it does, it’s spectacular. And I think it’s changed the way, not just the players think about Test cricket, but a lot of the world will think about Test cricket. It’s been an incredible summer, and hopefully, we can get over the line and seal the deal tomorrow.”

“I feel it would have not mattered whether we played another 20 minutes or we start again tomorrow,”

Jansen said.

“If the game was more in the balance, it probably would have affected us a bit more. But in the situation that the game was in, I don’t feel it would have mattered. As bowlers, we are always happy to play on, but it’s all up to the umpires.”

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