Dominant England wrap up third Test over sorry South Africa

Dom Bess England South Africa PA

England took South Africa’s final four wickets on the morning of the fifth day to wrap up victory in the third Test at Port Elizabeth by an innings and 53 runs, after an enterprising innings by Keshav Maharaj frustrated the visitors.

Stuart Broad gave England the ideal start to the day as took the seventh wicket of the innings and his first of the innings in the first over. Vernon Philander got a thick inside edge on to his pads and was caught at short mid-off by Ollie Pope – who dived forward to take his sixth catch of the game.

Kagiso Rabada then came in for his typical innings, playing two or three shots that have us wondering why he averages just 11 in Test cricket, then illustrating exactly why as his leading edge dollied to Broad at mid-on off Mark Wood.

Dom Bess got his first wicket of the second innings to add to his fifer in the first, as Anrich Nortje was comprehensively bowled by the young off-spinner.

Joe Root then took the new ball and bowled the first over himself, which can’t have happened before. And probably won’t happen again as he went for 28 runs (the Test record for runs in an over), including 24 from the blade of Keshav Maharaj, who was showing just what a good pitch this remained.

And he reached his second Test fifty in the next over, sweeping Dom Bess for four. Well played.

Dane Paterson then joined Maharaj in some fun, as an enterprising last wicket partnership frustrated England to leave something of a sour taste in the mouth.

But England did eventually take the last wicket as Sam Curran ran out Maharaj, who fell for 71 as he jogged for a single that would have brought up the 100 partnership.

A sloppy last hour in an otherwise totally dominant England performance. South Africa have got a lot to think about ahead of the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers on Friday.