South Africa vs England, 1st Test, Day 4.

Memories of England and Sri Lanka’s historic wins earlier in the year were in the forefront of everyone’s mind going into the fifth day as the similarities were startling. South Africa knew though that if their excellent new ball bowling partnership bowled with discipline then that would make things awkward for England on this difficult pitch.

Philander and Rabada executed the plan perfectly first up in the morning as Rory Burns was stranded down at Philander’s end. On a ground and pitch that throughout the match had seemed so easy to score quickly on the two openers found it slow going and were probably relieved to see off the opening spells.

The drop of in concentration from the batsmen that the backup bowlers brought defiantly contributed to Rory Burns’s wicket as he completely mistimed a pull of Norjte and was caught at the wicket.  Denly despite having pulled Rabada for two huge sixes in the first session was then LBW Pretorius to a ball he should have played straighter at. Suddenly then England were back in trouble and it was by balls bowled by the so called back up bowlers although the two strike bowlers probably had to take a lot of the credit.

Stokes came in with 218 still required for victory the exact same equation that he faced at Headingley four months earlier. Lunch was taken with South Africa still with their noses in front. After lunch Du Plessis rolled the dice slightly by turning to the off-spinner Maharaj to get through a few overs to the new ball. Initially this appeared to backfire as Stokes and Root struck his first over for 13.

In his second over however he bowled a much tighter line to Stokes who he bowled via a deflection of his glove and the game felt it had swung heavily towards the hosts. The timing couldn’t have been more unfortunate for England as a few moments later Rabada and Philander had a brand new cherry in their hands with the new batsmen Bairstow firmly in their sites.  

After clipping one of his legs for four Bairstow fairly foolishly followed a wide away swinger with little footwork and was caught in the gully region. Root soon followed hanging his bat out at a wide one which meant unless Buttler could single handily smash double what Stokes and Leach did at Leeds the game was up.

Just before tea on the fourth day Broad was bowled and the game was over and South Africa had won by 107 runs. It’s not difficult to see where England went wrong in this match as the margin of defeat is somewhat similar to the first innings lead that England surrendered. Root post match was determined not to blame the off the field issues that had blighted England throughout the match for the result. England must now head in the New Year to Cape Town where they will be met with thousands of travelling England supporters at a ground where they have a very poor record.

Read January’s edition of the SillyPoint magazine for the key talking points from this test match.


South Africa 1st Innings

D Elgarc Buttler b Anderson0100
A K Markramc Bairstow b Curran202340
Z Hamzac Stokes b Broad397260
F du Plessisc Root b Broad298050
H E van der Dussenc Root b Curran63410
Q de Kockc Buttler b Curran95128140
D Pretoriusc Root b Curran334541
V D Philanderc Buttler b Broad358160
K A Maharajc Stokes b Archer61510
K Rabadab Broad122430
A Nortje0600
Extras4lb 0 3w 2nb9 
Totalfor 1028484.3 overs
J M Anderson204691
S C J Broad184584
S M Curran205584
J C Archer194651
J E Root40260
J L Denly3040

England 1st Innings

R J Burnsc de Kock b Philander91520
D P Sibleyc de Kock b Rabada41210
J L Denlyc de Kock b Pretorius5011190
J E Rootc de Kock b Philander294950
B A Stokesc de Kock b Nortje354642
J M Bairstowb Nortje1600
J C Buttlerc de Kock b Philander123920
S M Curranc Hamza b Rabada202440
J C Archerb Philander31100
S C J Broadc Elgar b Rabada2700
J M Anderson0200
Extras4b 5lb 0 5w 2nb16 
Totalfor 1018153.2 overs
K Rabada151683
V D Philander148164
D Pretorius82231
A Nortje122472
K A Maharaj41180

South Africa 2nd Innings

A K Markramlbw b Anderson2500
D Elgarc Buttler b Archer222750
Z Hamzac Buttler b Broad41600
F du Plessisc Curran b Archer202831
H E van der Dussenlbw b Archer516750
A Nortjec Sub b Archer408960
Q de Kockc Bairstow b Stokes343723
D Pretoriusc Sibley b Stokes7710
V D Philanderc Bairstow b Curran466840
K A Maharajc Curran b Archer111610
K Rabada161221
Extras5b 3lb 0 9w 2nb19 
Totalfor 1027261.4 overs
J M Anderson131471
S C J Broad112421
J C Archer1711025
S M Curran123511
B A Stokes81222

England 2nd Innings

R J Burnsc Rabada b Nortje84154110
D P Sibleyc & b Maharaj299050
J L Denlylbw b Pretorius317932
J E Rootc de Kock b Nortje4810180
B A Stokesb Maharaj145520
J M Bairstowc Hamza b Rabada92520
J C Buttlerc Pretorius b Rabada223322
S M Curranc de Kock b Rabada91020
J C Archerc van der Dussen b Nortje4510
S C J Broadb Rabada6600
J M Anderson0000
Extras8b 3lb 0 1w12 
Totalfor 1026893.0 overs
K Rabada2431034
V D Philander208350
A Nortje174563
D Pretorius166261
K A Maharaj163372

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