Considering their reputation in test matches, people expected South Africa to put on a fighting show on the fifth day in Durban. Ironically, the fight was nowhere to be seen, but rather, the hosts meekly surrendered to the spin of Moeen Ali, handing England a win in the first test by 241 runs. The Proteas definitely did not play like the number one team, and the most baffling part was that they were humiliated at home.
AB De Villiers, who could have been the only potential hero for South Africa, was dismissed in the very first over of the day by Ali. The ball kept low and caught De Villiers off guard. De Villiers reviewed the decision, but the umpire’s initial verdict remained.
After De Villiers, it was just a matter of time before England wrapped up the proceedings. Ali was lethal on a wearing out Durban pitch. After struggling to the spin duo of Ashwin and Jadeja in India, it was now time to struggle against Ali for the hosts. Stuart Broad trapped Morne Morkel plumb in front to complete the annihilation. Both the teams now move to Cape Town to play the New Year’s Test.
Below, are the statistical highlights for the fifth day’s play.
1. 85. The highest Test score by a South African batsman since their tour of Bangladesh. AB De Villiers scored 85 against India in the drawn test in Bangalore.
2. 4. The number of Test matches lost by South Africa in 2015. They have lost more tests only in 2006 (7) and in 1912 (5).
3. 16.75. Faf Du Plessis’ Test batting average in 2015. He averaged 44.84 in 2014.
4. 241. The third worst Test defeat for South Africa in terms of runs since their readmission in the game.
5. 0.25. South Africa’s Win/Loss ratio in 2015.