Overnight the main talking point away from the action had been the story of Ben Stokes’s altercation after his wicket on the first day. The ugly scenes at the mouth of the players tunnel had cost the all-rounder a demerit point and 15% of his match fee.
On the field however things started well for England as two of their most pleasing batsmen on the eye were batting well as they put on over a hundred together. The drinks break after an hour’s play helped South Africa regroup and Nortje in particular found a bit of movement through the air as the hosts began to make progress.
The two set batsmen in Pope and Root after making fifties were the first to go before Buttler made a scratchy twenty. Further down the order there was some resistance from Woakes before he became Nortje fifth victim to complete his first five wicket haul in tests.
At that point South Africa must have contemplated a good morning’s work as England was 320-9 with number’s ten and eleven at the crease. Sadly at this point the hosts bowling attack appeared to fall apart and forget where the stumps were. Broad and Wood gratefully tucked in and sent the ball flying to all parts.
It always amazes when the last pair are together how suddenly the fielding team change tactics to the one that got them the previous nine wickets. Still Wood and Broad didn’t mind as the former went past Graham Thorpe’s career sixes tally before eventually Broad was caught, mind you not before the pair had got England to 400.
You felt sorry for the South African batsmen who once again were messed about by England’s tail. Elgar and Malan survived a tricky little session just before tea, mainly due to some wide England bowling.
After the break however England came out with real intent as Wood and the recalled Woakes got stuck in. The rapid mark Wood found the edge of Malan’s bat at an English record of 94mph for a wicket taking delivery. Similarly to Port Elizabeth last week this began a clatter of wickets spread around evenly among the five man attack.
South Africa reached the close six down with only de Kock showing any sort of resistance. Elgar played a horrible shot which just ballooned up to the covers before Du Plessis may have got a rough one which DRS viewed to just be clipping the stumps, on this bouncy pitch the umpire was brave to stick his finger up.
The match and the series is basically done, a near capacity crowd left feeling dejected at what they’d witnessed. In truth what they had witnessed was a team on its knees that needs to be put out of its misery. Sadly that is unlikely to happen anytime soon as Root will probably bat again rather than enforce the follow on. For England with Mark Wood it quite literally is full steam ahead.
England 1st Innings
|Z Crawley||c van der Dussen b Philander||66||112||11||0|
|D P Sibley||c de Kock b Hendricks||44||93||7||0|
|J L Denly||c van der Dussen b Paterson||27||35||4||0|
|J E Root||c de Kock b Nortje||59||108||6||0|
|B A Stokes||c van der Dussen b Nortje||2||10||0||0|
|O J D Pope||b Nortje||56||78||8||0|
|J C Buttler||c Elgar b Philander||20||43||3||0|
|S M Curran||c de Kock b Nortje||0||1||0||0|
|C R Woakes||c du Plessis b Nortje||32||46||5||0|
|M A Wood||35||39||2||3|
|S C J Broad||c Malan b Paterson||43||28||2||4|
|Extras||9lb 0 4w 3nb||16|
|Total||for 10||400||98.2 overs|
|V D Philander||20||2||50||2|
|B E Hendricks||23||3||111||1|
South Africa 1st Innings
|D Elgar||c Woakes b Stokes||26||64||5||0|
|P J Malan||c Buttler b Wood||15||63||1||0|
|H E van der Dussen||c Stokes b Curran||0||7||0||0|
|F du Plessis||lbw b Woakes||3||29||0||0|
|Q de Kock||32||44||5||0|
|T Bavuma||c Stokes b Wood||6||28||0||0|
|A Nortje||c Denly b Wood||6||16||1||0|
|Total||for 6||88||41.5 overs|
|S C J Broad||9||3||13||0|
|S M Curran||7||3||11||1|
|C R Woakes||10||5||16||1|
|M A Wood||8||1||21||3|
|B A Stokes||7||1||27||1|
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