England can still beat South Africa in the first Test but “must win” day three at Lord’s, according to pace bowler Stuart Broad.
The Proteas reached 289-7 at the end of day two, 124 ahead, but would be in an even stronger position without three wickets for England captain Ben Stokes.
“The game is set up really nicely,” said Broad.
“We feel really positive in the changing room that we have got ourselves back in the game.”
The 36-year-old added: “We feel like tomorrow is a must-win day.”
Stokes’ first intervention came by removing opener Sarel Erwee for 73 and Rassie van der Dussen for 19.
The double strike was part of a slide of four wickets for 50 runs after tea that left the Proteas only 45 ahead with four wickets in hand.
South Africa counter-attacked in a crucial stand of 72 from only 75 balls between Marco Jansen and Keshav Maharaj, which was eventually ended when Stokes had Maharaj caught at mid-wicket.
“We needed a couple of breakthroughs. He gave us a bit of energy and got the crowd going,” said Broad, who himself had Kyle Verreynne caught behind for his 100th Test wicket at Lord’s.
“Stokesy brought great theatre. Players like him put bums on seats.”
England had earlier been bowled out for 165 in their first innings, so will need a vast improvement in their second in order to set South Africa a challenging target to chase.
However, Broad highlighted the easier batting conditions on day two, compared with those England encountered on Wednesday.
“When you get bowled out relatively cheaply in the first innings, you have to make it a first versus fourth innings game, so we have to try to get enough ahead that we can try to defend it,” he said.
“We are going to have to have a couple of great days, but we have proved this summer that anything can happen.
“Defending anything above 150 on day four and five, you’ve got a chance if you can create pressure.”
Kagiso Rabada took three of the England wickets to fall on Thursday morning, the pace bowler claiming 5-52 overall for a place on the Lord’s honours board for the first time despite being a doubt for this Test because of an ankle injury.
“It’s basically a childhood dream to be up on the Lord’s honours board,” he said.
“Two weeks ago, I wasn’t sure if I was going to play. That’s how much pain I was in. Thankfully, the medical staff have taken time out to help me out.
“When it comes to the game, I always try and do my best, no matter whether I’m feeling a niggle or not. That doesn’t change.”