The fourth day started with an explosion of wickets and stumps as England polished off South Africa by taking 4-1.
In the first over of the day Stuart Broad interrupted The Barmy Army’s rousing rendition of Jerusalem by cart wheeling Philander’s off-stump. De Kock the very next over missed a straight one from Curran to a similar affect and when Maharaj chopped on the Port Elizabeth brass band struck up their funeral march material in response to the home sides display.
With more bad weather around for the next two days Joe Root decided to do the unfashionable choice of enforcing the follow on. Despite it basically having gone out the game in recent years it seemed like the only thing Root could do because he wasn’t sure how much play there would be over the final two days.
The decision appeared to be instantly justified as once again like the previous day the heavens opened and time was lost. When the players returned after the break Mark Wood steamed in and continuing the theme from the morning as he sent Elgar’s stump flying back. Hamza soon followed as he tickled the same bowler down the leg side to Buttler which he may feel aggrieved about but replays would suggest a slight technical floor in his game.
Du Plessis batting for his future in the side and his captaincy was looking solid and at a good tempo against the spin of Bess that had been his undoing in the first innings. Malan however hadn’t learnt his lesson as Root trapped him LBW caught in no man’s land half forward.
Der Dussen then played out one of the strangest innings against spin you’re likely to see at this level. He was prodding and poking at the ball and even hanging is bat outside the line of his pad when facing Root from round the wicket.
The inevitable happened when Root got one to catch Dussen’s edge as he was superbly caught by a diving Ollie Pope who was having one hell of a match. The luckless Du Plessis and De Kock soon followed both to Root who was now chasing five wickets. The umpires however decided that England were not within half an hour of victory so decided to call it a day at the scheduled time.
At the start of the fifth day England needed only four wickets to take the lead in the series and ensure they couldn’t be beaten. For Philander the fifth day started in a similar fashion to the fourth as Stuart Broad managed to get an inside edge to pop up of the pad in the first over. A couple of overs later a Mark Wood slower ball deceived Rabada who hit it straight up to be caught by Broad and England sniffed an early lunch.
The wall from the first innings Nortje went back to one from Bess which he really should have gone forward too and suddenly South Africa were nine down. There was however some resistance from the last pair as they ended up putting on over ninety together in double quick time. Root who had taken residency from one end looking for a fiver went for 28 of one over which is the joint record for the most expensive over in test cricket.
Eventually after some questionable tactics from England Maharaj ran himself out after he had completed a fifty to wrap up victory for England. This result ensures England keep hold of the Basil D’oliveira trophy until the teams meet again as South Africa can’t win the series.
A good week then for English cricket that ensured England’s unbeaten record in South Africa goes past the twenty year mark. For South Africa they remain in chaos and du Plessis has hinted that his days as captain maybe numbered.
England 1st Innings
|Z Crawley||c van der Dussen b Nortje||44||137||5||0|
|D P Sibley||c Elgar b Rabada||36||95||5||0|
|J L Denly||lbw b Maharaj||25||100||3||0|
|J E Root||b Rabada||27||46||4||0|
|B A Stokes||c Elgar b Paterson||120||214||12||2|
|O J D Pope||135||226||18||1|
|J C Buttler||c & b Maharaj||1||15||0||0|
|S M Curran||c Elgar b Maharaj||44||50||6||1|
|D M Bess||c Malan b Maharaj||1||10||0||0|
|M A Wood||c Nortje b Maharaj||42||23||2||5|
|Extras||2b 14lb 0 4w 4nb||24|
|Total||for 9||499||152.0 overs|
|V D Philander||16||5||41||0|
|K A Maharaj||58||15||180||5|
South Africa 1st Innings
|D Elgar||c Pope b Bess||35||74||6||0|
|P J Malan||c & b Bess||18||32||2||0|
|Z Hamza||c Pope b Bess||10||14||2||0|
|A Nortje||c Root b Stokes||18||136||2||0|
|F du Plessis||c Pope b Bess||8||6||2||0|
|H E van der Dussen||b Bess||24||41||3||0|
|Q de Kock||b Curran||63||139||9||0|
|V D Philander||b Broad||27||61||5||0|
|K A Maharaj||b Broad||0||3||0||0|
|K Rabada||c Wood b Broad||1||8||0||0|
|Extras||4b 0 1w||5|
|Total||for 10||209||86.4 overs|
|S C J Broad||13||6||30||3|
|S M Curran||11||2||32||1|
|D M Bess||31||12||51||5|
|M A Wood||11||4||31||0|
|J L Denly||4||1||10||0|
|J E Root||11||4||25||0|
|B A Stokes||5||1||26||1|
South Africa 2nd Innings
|P J Malan||lbw b Root||12||79||1||0|
|D Elgar||b Wood||15||22||3||0|
|Z Hamza||c Buttler b Wood||2||12||0||0|
|F du Plessis||c Pope b Root||36||123||6||1|
|H E van der Dussen||c Pope b Root||10||36||1||1|
|Q de Kock||c Wood b Root||3||26||0||0|
|V D Philander||c Pope b Broad||13||47||2||0|
|K A Maharaj||Run Out Curran||71||106||10||3|
|K Rabada||c Broad b Wood||16||24||2||1|
|A Nortje||b Bess||5||19||1||0|
|Extras||12b 1lb 0 1w 1nb||15|
|Total||for 10||237||88.5 overs|
|S C J Broad||10||5||14||1|
|S M Curran||6||0||46||0|
|M A Wood||16||6||32||3|
|D M Bess||22||11||36||1|
|B A Stokes||5||2||9||0|
|J E Root||29||13||87||4|
England win an innings and 53 runs