England on top with bat and ball as South Africa struggle
England proved devastating with both bat and ball on Saturday as they scored 400 runs in their first innings and then reduced sorry South Africa to 88 for six wickets at the close of play on the second day of the fourth test at The Wanderers.
A record 10th-wicket partnership saw England amass a formidable first-innings total before rampaging through the home’s team batting order to take a stranglehold on the game and move closer to a series victory.
Quinton de Kock was 32 not out at the close after Anrich Nortje was caught in the slips on the last ball of the day, heightening the possibility of South Africa following on for a second successive test.
The home side’s confidence had already taken a hefty knock when their bowlers were subjected to a bashing from tailenders Stuart Broad and Mark Wood, whose 82-run partnership was a record for the last wicket at the Johannesburg venue.
South Africa, 2-1 down in the series, would still have held out hopes of a fightback when they had England 318-9 but after leaking runs and then being tumbled out by the touring bowlers, they again have their backs to the wall.
Wood led the way in the evening session with 3-21 as England removed Pieter Malan (15), Rassie van der Dussen (0), Dean Elgar (26), Faf du Plessis (3) and Temba Bavuma (6) with their five-man seam attack generating real pace off the quick wicket.
Ben Stokes took two catches after a series of dropped efforts in the third test last weekend.
“We found the right, fuller length on that surface and now we’re in a really strong position,” Chris Woakes said.
In contrast, South Africa’s bowlers were punished as Broad, who made 43 off 28 balls, and Wood, not out on 35, thrashed the ball to all parts, forcing South Africa into the seldom-seen scenario of eight boundary fielders trying to defend against No. 10 and No. 11 batsmen.
There were also half centuries for captain Joe Root and Ollie Pope and a valuable 32 from Woakes in his first appearance on the tour. Nortje (5-110) took a maiden test five-wicket haul.
England were 192-4 overnight when play began 45 minutes late because of a rain delay and steadily moved the scoreboard along as Pope, first, and then Root got to 50.
Pope (56) continued to build on his growing reputation and looked the senior batsman at times as he and Root (59) put on 101 runs for the fifth wicket.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- It was a humiliating moment for the visitors as they were dismissed for one of the lowest scores in Test cricket history. They had also lost their captain Virat Kohli.
- Pujara scored 54 in the second innings and kept India steady. En route to the slowest half-century of his Test career, Pujara endured 11 blows to the body. Yes, 11 – thrice on the helmet, once on the left bicep, thrice on the bottom glove on his right arm, and once on the chest, and some more.
- In an interview with Sports Today, the batsman recounted the incident as "funny" saying that the back injury of the bowler was not letting him bend and hence, Ashwin was taking the blows on his body.
- Shastri's role was lauded by former Pakistan captain Inzamam-Ul-Haq, who feels the former India all-rounder's astute knowledge of the game has helped the team immensely.
- "Some of the shots he played in that innings were breathtakingly good. I remember he was building partnerships, but it became pretty clear that he had to get India to the final on his own."
- IPL 2021: Robin Uthappa was brought by the Royals ahead of the IPL 2020, but the batsman had a very indifferent season, scoring 196 runs from 12 matches.
- Archer and Stokes were rested for England's two-Test series against Sri Lanka.
- Moments into his innings, Hanuma Vihari ran a single and grimaced in pain, and it was at that moment that everyone knew he had done something to his hamstring.
- Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris is worried for Chennai Super Kings ahead of IPL 2021 after they released their list of retained and released players.
- Inzamam praised Dravid for what he's done for Indian cricket, highlighting that his biggest strength was making the players mentally tough, without which India's Test series win against Australia wouldn't have been possible.