RSA vs Eng, Port Elizabeth

England won by an innings and 53 runs

RSA - 237 & 209
Eng - 499/9

That's our official 2-1 wrap. South Africa were clueless. They were confused at the toss, confused while bowling, terribly confused while batting, and entirely lost in their follow on. Rememeber, it's called home for a reason. Nah, this is no home when the Barmy Army outnumbers and out-shouts the locals. It's also no home when the pitch refuses to play to your strengths. So this was Vineet Anantharaman bringing you the action in the company of Hari Sadanandan and our scorer Vinod. Until Jo'burg, and a way to make a home feel like home, ta ta!!

Ollie Pope | MoM: It is an amazing feeling but it wouldn't have counted for much had we not won the game. Batting with Stokes is a privilege, he just keeps getting better and better. I had the best seat in the house just watching his tempo through the innings. I think he (my dad) spent a while in a sports bar and enjoyed it with one of his mates. He had a great day as well. [On fielding at short leg] We've got Sri Lanka coming up and hopefully I can get a few more catches there. The way Root and Bess bowled created a lot of chances. Those two (Maharaj and Paterson) batted really well in the morning, frustrated and it was nice to see Sam hit the stumps. It is a great mood in the dressing room.

Joe Root | Winning skipper: I think it is great template for how we want to keep playing our cricket in the future. Big first innings score and then drive the game from there. I thought Ollie batted really well in that partnership with Stokes. And then Bess was excellent with the ball. The way Cape Town unfolded showed the effort the guys were willing to put in. And we took it forward in this match. We want to continue providing that environment for the guys to step up and fill in when required as we saw it here. It is not going to be the same sides throughout the week. We have a very good squad of players, and it is a very exciting place to be in. Performing at a young age at this level is a nice spot to be in. We have adapted so far; we learnt our lesson quickly from Centurion and found a method to succeed and stuck to it here. We have been very disciplined on how we approach. Jo'burg will be a different challenge for us, for both the batters and the bowlers.

Faf du Plessis | Losing skipper: We knew that the toss would play a role. We controlled the run-rate well and once again our bowlers kept the lid on their batting lineup. But then England played some really good cricket. Pope and Stokes played really well and once again Stokes proved to be a thorn. It was challenging to get rid for him and he is one of those players, who if you don't get out, will get the run-rate moving. And then with 500 on the board, we needed to put up a good show first up with the batting. I don't think we played Bess very well. Obvioiusly he bowled really well to get five wickets, but we could have played him better. I have heard rumours of my possible retirement. But I have been clear that the T20 WC is what I am looking at. There is not a lot of Test cricket until then. It is important that as the captain I keep moving forward and be the driving force. There is one big Test now and two Tests then in the West Indies. Me and the team are feeling the pressure of not performing to the level that we should, but we'll keep fighting. Rabada missing out is a big frustration. He is our best bowler and it is not the first time that we have lost him. He will be a huge loss and we are already light on experience. We have to make the best of the cards we have been dealt with. We have to regroup, have some firm chats on where we need to get better. We have shown signs of that with the bowling. This wicket was made for the spinners with the number of wickets they took. Keshav, to get a five-for was great. We aren't putting on big totals with the batting. If you look at England, it is just a couple of batsmen, it is one big partnerhship, and that gives them the momentum.


Stats corner by Shashikant Singh:

Player with century & 6 catches (Test):
Frank Woolley v AUS, Sydney 1912
Garry Sobers v ENG, Lord's 1973
Matthew Hayden v SL, Galle 2004
Jacques Kallis v SL, Cape Town 2012
Steven Smith SL, Colombo 2016
Ollie Pope v SA, Port Elizabeth 2020*

Most catches in a Test for ENG vs SA (non WK):
6 - Ben Stokes, Cape Town, 2020
6 - Ollie Pope, Port Elizabeth 2020*

Most consecutive matches without a Draw:
27 - South Africa (2017-ongoing)*
26 - Zimbabwe (2005-2017)
23 - Australia (1999-2001)
22 - England (1884-1892)
22 - Australia (2001-2003)

Innings defeats for SA at home since re-admission:
i & 196 r vs Aus Joburg 1996/97
i & 360 r vs Aus Joburg 2001/02
i & 98 r vs Eng Durban 2009/10
i & 53 r vs Eng Port Elizabeth 2019/20

Unique feats:
*England had not won consecutive away Tests against South Africa in the same series since 1956-57
*Joe Root is the first England captain to take 4 wickets in a Test match innings since Andrew Flintoff (4/99) at Brisbane against Australia in 2006
*First innings defeat for South Africa at home since 2009 (Previous : innings & 98 runs v ENG at Durban)


So the task was straightforward. And it was one-directional. England needed four wickets, and given how things were going, and given what South Africa's more illustrious names did with the bat, it was going to be quick. Philander, their biggest hope after rain, fell off the third ball. Rabada needed a dropped catch to last 24 balls. Nortje finally emulated his top-order, refusing to show fight. All through this, Joe Root kept up with his fifer greed. Perhaps rightly so. And it needed him being tonked for 24 in an over off Maharaj to finally give up the ball. But the seamers then found a way to waste out the new ball, hell bent on bowling short. And it needed some running from the number-eleven school of training to finally bring about an end here ..

11:53 Local Time | Match end: It's come after an hour of unnecessary, self-inflicted frustration, but it's come nevertheless. The forecast was for the rains to come in, delay, but South Africa's final-wicket pair did compensate. Still, 99 runs shorter, it's an embarrassing thumping nevertheless. Not that today could've offered anything different, and it didn't, but the series win now is officially out of South Africa's reach. And perhaps even a spot at Lord's in 2021.

88.5 Mark Wood to Maharaj, out Maharaj Run Out!! That's the only way it could've been done. England refused to BOWL AT THE STUMPS. So it was effectively down to the confusion that numbers ten and eleven bring about in their running that was the throwaway. It's a yorker, squeezed to mid-on, and Sam Curran does what he just didn't with the ball. Throw it full, straight, direct, at the stumps. Maharaj could do no wrong, but he'll still be an inch short. Maharaj run out (Sam Curran) 71(106) [4s-10 6s-3]

Mark Wood to Maharaj, THAT'S OUT!! Run Out!!

88.4 Mark Wood to Maharaj, no run, 89mph, wide, full, slashed hard through the line, extra cover

88.3 Mark Wood to Maharaj, no run, chin music again. You'd wonder why. Perhaps for the pleasure of watching Maharaj look helpless and fall down ungainly

88.2 Mark Wood to Maharaj, no run, 136kph, another room making hack. It's outside off, too wide of Maharaj to eventually have to reach out to

88.1 Mark Wood to Maharaj, no run, clears out his front leg, shapes up for that smack over cow corner. Nah, will end up inside-edging it onto his own foot

87.6 Sam Curran to Paterson, FOUR, make that 99 in the stand .. short, outside off, sliced away over gully. Nothing edgy here, just sheer, proper, middle-of-the-bat stuff

87.5 Sam Curran to Paterson, no run, big swing, and there's a tickling noise as it goes to the keeper. Buttler's very keen. And it could only have been the bat. Anyway, there's nothing much you can do when you've wasted the reviews on rubbish

87.4 Sam Curran to Paterson, no run, 119kph, slower one into the pads. Paterson flicks all around it, and Maharaj wants to pinch the ricochet off the pads into point. So he goes half way down, and returns

The trail is now down to 57. Surely with this momentum, England are batting again ..

87.3 Sam Curran to Paterson, FOUR, 135kph, shorter, and another thick edge, now on the slap and once again into third man