Bairstow leads England fightback

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Updated: August 18, 2012

Jonny Bairstow struck a gutsy unbeaten 72 to help England close the second day of the third test against South Africa on 208 for five and in control at Lord’s in London on Friday.

The Yorkshireman showed nerves of steel in the face of some hostile bowling by the tourists, with his career-best effort coming from 137 deliveries.

Bairstow shared in a fine rescuing partnership of 124 with Ian Bell (58 off 157 balls) that came from a little under 40 overs to leave the hosts just 101 behind the Proteas’ 309, an innings that also saw Vernon Philander strike a super 61 from 93 balls.

The first session of day 3 should be intriguing as the new ball will be due after the first half hour, a moment that could be crucial if the visitors are to bat again with a first innings lead.

England 208 for 5 (Bairstow 72*, Prior 22*) trail South Africa 309 (Philander 61, Duminy 61, Finn 4-75) by 101 runs