Nortje leads fight for South Africa, England 300-7

South Africa's bowler Anrich Nortje, right, appeals successfully for the wicket of England's batsman Ollie Popeon on day two of the fourth cricket tes...
England's batsman Chris Woakes bats on day two of the fourth cricket test match between South Africa and England at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesb...
England's captain Joe Root, right, leaves the field after being dismissed by South Africa's bowler Anrich Nortje for 59 runs on day two of the fourth ...
England's batsman Sam Curran leaves the field after being dismissed by South Africa's bowler Anrich Nortje for a duck, on day two of the fourth cricke...
England's captain Joe Root raises his bat after reaching a half century on day two of the fourth cricket test match between South Africa and England a...
England's batsman Ollie Pope dives as he survives a run out on day two of the fourth cricket test match between South Africa and England at the Wander...

South Africa's bowler Anrich Nortje, right, appeals successfully for the wicket of England's batsman Ollie Popeon on day two of the fourth cricket tes...

England's batsman Chris Woakes bats on day two of the fourth cricket test match between South Africa and England at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesb...

England's captain Joe Root, right, leaves the field after being dismissed by South Africa's bowler Anrich Nortje for 59 runs on day two of the fourth ...

England's batsman Sam Curran leaves the field after being dismissed by South Africa's bowler Anrich Nortje for a duck, on day two of the fourth cricke...

England's captain Joe Root raises his bat after reaching a half century on day two of the fourth cricket test match between South Africa and England a...

England's batsman Ollie Pope dives as he survives a run out on day two of the fourth cricket test match between South Africa and England at the Wander...

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa fast bowler Anrich Nortje held back England with three wickets in quick succession on the second day of the series-deciding final test on Saturday.

Nortje changed the momentum of the first session by removing Ollie Pope for 56, England captain Joe Root for 59 and Sam Curran on his first ball in the space of four overs.

England went from 258-4 to 300-7 at lunch. The touring side is still in a good place but Nortje made sure its score wasn't as imposing as it threatened to be when Pope and Root combined for a 101-run stand.

England leads the series 2-1 and needs just a draw in the final game. South Africa is fighting to save the series.

Pope, off a maiden test century in the third test, hit eight fours and scored freely at stages at the start of the day. Root supported with a half-century of his own and South Africa's bowlers struggled in the first half of the opening session at the Wanderers.

Nortje gave South Africa something straight after the drinks break when he bowled Pope off an edge.

The young fast bowler was South Africa's only hope at stages.

He had Root dropped on 53 by South Africa captain Faf du Plessis at second slip. But he did get the England skipper next over to an edge to wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock to let du Plessis off the hook.

Curran flashed at a ball wide of off stump next delivery to also edge behind first ball and give Nortje two wickets in two balls and a career-best 4-93 in the innings.

England still has hopes of making its first-innings total a big one, though, and taking a firm step toward securing the series.

Jos Buttler was 16 not out and Chris Woakes 19 not out at lunch and settling in as England set its sights on 400.

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