Jimmy Anderson took a vital late wicket as South Africa’s batsmen put on a superb show of defiance to leave the second Test in the balance at Newlands, finishing the day on 126/2, chasing 438 to win, after Dom Sibley’s maiden century and Stokes’ brilliance for England.
Du Plessis decided not to take the new ball first up in the morning, Anrich Nortje was feeling poorly and Keshav Maharaj had some rough to play with. Stokes was having none of it. He plonked Dwaine Pretorius over his head for six, reverse lapped him for four, then dispatched Maharaj over cow corner next over. The experiment went no futher – new ball please…
FULL SCORECARD: South Afriva v England – second Test
Stokes’ intent didn’t change with the new cherry (sorry Tickers), looking to put the game out of reach of South Africa, and quickly. He brought up his 50 from just 34 balls, as the 2016 deja vu talk reached peak levels.
Sibley reached his own milestone soon after, a fortunate nick through the slips took him to 99 and a superb sweep for four took him to his maiden Test century – a lovely old school Test match innings.
And this is the moment. pic.twitter.com/VUONX8f9GY
— Cricket365 (@Cricket365) January 6, 2020
After a couple more lusty blows, Stokes fell for 72 from 47 balls, smashing Maharaj very, very hard straight to Van der Dussen at long off, who took a relatively simple catch – a brilliant innings.
Ollie Pope then chopped on, bringing Jos Buttler to the crease as England’s march continued, with both Buttler and Sibley slipping into one-day mode and clearing the boundary.
Buttler’s stay was short, as he edged an attempted scoop behind off the bowling of Nortje. So too was Sam Curran’s – who was caught by Zubayr Hamza – but not before he was hit on the hand by Pretorius, producing a classic Broad-face from Stuart Broad, who was clearly looking forward to bowling…
— Alex (@AlfonsoBonzo) January 6, 2020
And he soon was, as England declared on 391 for 8, with Dom Dibley carrying his bat on 133. South Africa needed 438 to win.
England came out to bowl and flickers of doubt started to emerge as to just how flat this pitch is. England lost an early review as Stuart Broad’s lbw celebrappeal was in vain as the replays showed Pieter Malan had got a tiny inside edge.
Nothing much was happening until Joe Root brought part-time leg-spinner Joe Denly into the attack and started causing Dean Elgar – who had looked incredibly comfortable up to that point – all sorts of problems, as he aimed for the rough outside his off stump.
And it was Denly who got the breakthrough, with Elgar his first scalp in Test cricket. He was given out caught behind but immediately reviewed the decision – which normally suggests he didn’t hit it – but there was the tiniest wobble on snicko so he had to go, shaking his head as he went.
But that looked like it was going to be as good as it got for England’s bowlers, who toiled on what indeed is a very flat pitch. Pieter Malan was playing like a Test veteran on debut, finishing the day 63 not out. But that man Jimmy Anderson, proving age is irrelevant, set Hamza up brilliantly and had him caught behind in what was a crucial last gasp wicket for England to put them in the ascendancy.
A wonderful day of Test cricket and all three results still available on the fifth day. Yes, the fifth day
Root insists he is enjoying the mix of experience and youth in the England side.
Wood and Stokes star as England wrap up a 3-1 series victory.
Pakistan won the series 2-0 to retain top spot.
The cricketing world is mourning the death of NBA legend Kobe Bryant today.
Cook admits to being “jealous” at the way David Warner approaches Test cricket.
Another great day for England, but Buttler’s misfires continue.
Tall order for this current South Africa team, it’s fair to say.
Just about worked out okay we reckon.
The Indian juggernaut rolls on.
Mark Wood is an all-rounder now.