Slick South Africa level series with crushing win

Slick South Africa level series with crushing win

Scores: South Africa 335 & 343/9 decl (Dean Elgar 80, Hashim Amla 87; Moeen Ali 4-78) beat England 205 & 133 (Alastair Cook 42; Keshav Maharaj 3-42, Vernon Philander 3-24) by 340 runs.

South Africa folded on the fourth day of the first Test, England were bowled out for 133 in their second innings – though they had fewer excuses for doing so. While the Lord’s pitch turned square in the fourth innings, the sun was out in Nottingham for the first time on Monday (July 17) and there were few demons in the pitch. Only one wicket-taking delivery misbehaved, with Vernon Philander getting one to shoot through Gary Ballance’s defences. The rest of the wickets fell due to South Africa’s often brutish skill and England’s misadventure.

England might have talked a good game about batting out six sessions to avoid defeat in the second Test, but the deed proved well beyond them as they managed less than a quarter of that. South Africa needed just 40.2 overs to claim the 10 wickets required to level the series on the fourth day, achieving their goal by 3pm to complete a 340-run victory at Trent Bridge.

In the second over after lunch, Jonny Bairstow played a filthy shot, hitting Keshav Maharaj straight to mid-on when he had no business trying to clear the fielder. Maharaj went on to pick up two more wickets as Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad both swept to fielders, while Philander had Ben Stokes caught and bowled.

With England falling in a heap, and quickly, Faf du Plessis even had the space to bring on Olivier for some sympathy wickets. England were eight down, and Olivier finished the job in two deliveries as both Mark Wood and James Anderson were caught behind the wicket. Philander nevertheless finished with the best figures, taking 3 for 24, though Morris’ 2 for 7 in six brisk overs had caught the eye and Maharaj ended the game with six scalps overall.

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