South Africa Finally Taste Success in 4th Test to avoid Whitewash at the Hands of England

January 27 13:33 2016

rabadaNew Delhi, Wednesday, January 27 – When England and South Africa were all set for the mega show at SuperSport Park in Centurion, which hosted the final Test match between the two nations from January 22 to January 26, it was certain that contest is going to be interesting.

Such anticipations were thanks to the end result in previously played Test matches. On one hand, England were eyeing a whitewash on South Africa tour, while the Proteas were keen for a bounce back to keep their heads held high.

Under the captaincy of AB de Villiers, Jean-Paul Duminy, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock (wk), Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Kyle Abbott, Morne Morkel, Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla made South Africa look strong. Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris sat on bench. In the face of looking robust, pressure was certainly huge on the host as they were thrashed by 241 runs and 7 wickets at the hands of English men in 1st and 3rd Tests at Kingsmead in Durban and New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg, respectively.

Second match ended in draw regardless of some wonderful play by Ben Stokes (258 runs in 198 balls), Jonny Bairstow (150 runs in 191 balls), Hashim Amla (201 runs) and Temba Bavuma (not out knock of 102 runs). Losing on home soil is always humiliating and this time Proteas were eager to give Alastair Cook-led side, which comprised Alex Hales, Nick Compton, Joe Root, James Taylor, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad and James Anderson, a taste of their own medicine. The first thing that happened in their favor was the toss. South African captain decided to bat first. This was probably to get a rough idea about how much his Playing XI could score and at what point the rivals can be stopped.

South Africa were at 35 for one after dismissal of Dean Elgar by Moeen Ali at a score of 20, which included three boundaries. But England had to wait for next 53 overs to get another breakthrough. Good partnership between Stephen Cook, who scored 115 runs off 218 balls, together with 14 boundaries, and Amla, whose 109 runs comprised 19 fours, was of great use. In fact, they made Proteas get an ideal start, something that was missing in earlier contests. Ben Stokes brought their partnership to an end by dismissing Amla. AB de Villiers was out for a naught in Stuart Broad’s over. This was a shocker for South Africa as the player being capable of changing all dynamics of cricket with exceptional play. The opener Cook was dismissed by Chris Woakes in 74.5 over.

The new batsman on the crease, JP Duminy, got his legs before wicket when Moeen Ali came to bowl. His contribution in the squad’s total score was 16 runs off 31 balls, including four 4s.  Temba Bavuma was next to lose his wicket to Broad post addition of 35 runs (4 x 5). Kagiso Rabada was lbw for a duck while Kyle Abbott was given out in the same manner when playing at a score of 16 runs (4 x 2 and 6 x 1).  Ben Stokes dismissed Dane Piedt and Morne Morkel at 19 runs and a zero, respectively. Despite scoring trivial score, Piedt faced 104 balls and gave huge support to Quinton de Kock to continue hitting the ball and put the team on a safer side.

The young South African wicket keeper played not out knock of 129 runs with 17 boundaries and a couple of sixes. 475 runs were totaled in 132 overs by the host. England collapsed after totaling 342 runs in 104.2 overs. Alex Hales was out by Kagiso Rabada at 15 runs and Alastair Cook by Morne Morkel at 76 runs (4 x 11). Rabada was on fire dismissing Nick Compton at 19 runs (4 x 3), Joe Root at  76 runs (4 x 11), James Taylor at 14 runs (4 x 2), Ben Stokes at 33 runs (4 x  5 and 6 x 1), Jonny Bairstow at 0 and Stuart Broad at 5 runs.  Moeen Ali’s wicket went to Morkel after contribution of 61 runs off 101 balls, comprising 11 fours. Chris Woakes succumbed to Duminy at 26 runs (4 x 4). James Anderson was not out at 5 runs that took in a four as well. South Africa declared at 248 runs after dismissal of five batsmen.

Stephen Cook contributed 25 runs, Dean Elgar 1 run, AB de Villiers zero, JP Duminy 29 runs, Temba Bavuma 78 runs and Quinton de Kock 9 runs. Hashim Amla’s 96 runs made him stand out amid others. Chasing a target that needed England to be patient and opt for good tactics proved much bigger on them. The entire team was back to pavilion at 101 runs. James Taylor was the highest scorer in 2nd innings with 24 runs. Six of the England players were not able to touch two digit mark, allowing South Africa smell the first win, which must have given them confidence before 5-match ODI series begin from February 3. Proteas heaved a sigh of relief post defeating the travelers by 280 runs. This victory will help them forget bad memories after being thrashed by India in longest format late last year. After rest of a few days, the team will look forward for a fresh start in 50-50 over game. de Villiers need to come back in form to send England on the back foot.

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