South African fast bowling pack, led by the fiery Morne Morkel, staged a decimation of the England batting line up to script a massive 340-run victory for the visitors in the 2nd Test at the Trent Bridge Nottingham.
The winning team taking a first innings lead, building a huge target and bundling out the opposition for a very dismal total in the final innings. Trent Bridge definitely saw a recap of the first Test, the only difference being the team’s switching their roles. England went from dominating to submissive while South Africa emerged in an exact opposite avatar.
The fashion in which South Africa won has levelled the series only makes everyone wonder how quickly momentum can change its course from one team to the other.
After putting Joe Root & Co. with a humongous task chasing 474 with two days to survive, the four man seam attack led by Morne Morkel took full advantage of the bouncy nature of the wicket to rattle out the batting side for just 133 in 44.2 overs inside Day 4.
South Africa sensed victory by lunch itself as Morkel and Philander along with Chris Morris gave no breathing space to Englishmen, reducing the side to four down with just 79 on the scoreboard. Until drinks, with England standing at 127/7, the win was almost confirmed and by the time Tea arrived, the game turned into an English rout.
The new ball pair of Philander and Morkel hit the right spot from the word go. The former relied on his ‘LBW’ focused line whereas the latter took full mixed bouncers and yorkers like salt and pepper. The result was instant Keaton Jennings was cleaned up in the 6th over by an in-swinging delivery that snuck through the gap between bat and pad.
Ballance ended up giving critics another chance to raise questions about his place in the team as he was trapped LBW by Philander after being struck on the bottom hand by Morkel. Morris took advantage of pressure building up and ended claiming Root with a brilliant yorker.
Cook was the only one who provided some resistance and was largely responsible for more than half of the runs which were on the board at the Lunch time. However, he could not display a prolonged resistance as he lost his wicket getting unsettled by a bouncer from Morris to be caught by De Kock.
The end looked closer when Bairstow was also packed up after the break. Ali and Stokes tried their bit and survived for a brief time together before being sent off one after another in the 40th and the 41st over respectively leaving only the tail enders to bat.
The rest of the job was smoothly wrapped off by left arm spinner Maharaj, who snapped Broad, and medium pacer Olivier, the unassuming replacement for Kagiso Rabada, who got rid of the last two man standing – James Anderson and Mark Wood – off back to back deliveries.
South Africa: 335 & 343/9d
England: 205 & 133 (44.2 ov)
Man of the Match: Vernon Philander