England break stubborn Proteas resistance, level series

Reuters/Cape Town
Filed on January 7, 2020
England break stubborn Proteas resistance, level series
Ben Stokes (left) and Stuart Broad celebrate the wicket of Anrich Nortje during day five of the second test against South Africa. - AP

Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen had frustrated England for 44 overs before Stokes provided late drama to finish the match with 8.2 overs to spare.

Ben Stokes took the last three wickets as England subdued a stubborn South Africa to win a thrilling second Test by 189 runs late on day five on Tuesday, their first victory at Newlands since 1957.

Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen had frustrated England for 44 overs before Stokes provided late drama to finish the match with 8.2 overs to spare and level the four-match series.

The win will be especially pleasing for England for the way they stuck to their task on a flat fifth-day wicket, with Stokes's superb burst earning the all-rounder figures of 3-35.

"A great day's play and a great Test match," England seamer Stuart Broad told Sky Sports. "We had to work incredibly hard, we knew we were going to have to do that.

"It was incredible discipline from South Africa throughout the day but we kept saying one bit of magic. We set some funky fields. One breakthrough and we could apply some pressure. You need a lot of character and skill to chase 10 wickets. We are proud of taking our chances."

Chasing a Test record 438 to win, South Africa looked relatively comfortable as they reached 237 for five with 26 overs remaining in the match.

For the second time in the innings, however, a key man gave his wicket away. De Kock (50) attempted to pull a dragged down delivery from part-time leg spinner Joe Denly and succeeded only in picking out Zak Crawley at mid-wicket. It was an unnecessary stroke that opened the door for England and when Broad removed the obdurate Van der Dussen (17 from 140 balls), it was well and truly ajar.

Stokes accounted for Dwaine Pretorius and Anrich Nortje in successive balls, both caught at slip, and sealed the victory in front of an ecstatic Barmy Army when Vernon Philander was caught fending a lifting delivery to Ollie Pope.

South Africa had given themselves a chance with some stern resistance, not least from debutant opener Pieter Malan who lasted 288 balls for his 84.

But England looked on course for victory at lunch after grabbing the key wicket of South Africa captain Faf du Plessis (19), who will be disappointed with his shot selection as he tried to take on spinner Dom Bess with a powerful sweep and picked out Denly at square leg.

"The boys fought very hard. They bowled really well and congrats to them," De Kock said. "Obviously we tried to push them as far as we can. Unfortunately we fell just short."


England, first innings: 269
South Africa, first innings: 223
England, second innings: 391-8 declared
South Africa, second innings (overnight 126-2)
P. Malan c Stokes b Curran 84
D. Elgar c Buttler b Denly 34
Z. Hamza c Buttler b Anderson 18
K. Maharaj lbw b Anderson 2
F. du Plessis c Denly b Bess 19
Dussen c Anderson b Broad 17
Q. de Kock c Crawley b Denly 50
V. Philander c Pope b Stokes 8
D. Pretorius c Root b Stokes 0
A. Nortje c Crawley b Stokes 0
K. Rabada not out 3
Extras (b4, lb2, nb5, w2) 13
Total (All out, 137.4 overs) 248
Fall of wicket: 1-71, 2-123, 3-129, 4-164, 5-171, 6-237, 7-237, 8-241, 9-241
Bowling: Anderson 18-9-23-2, Broad 23-8-37-1, Bess 33-14-57-1, Curran 16-4-37-1 (1nb, 1w), Denly 18-4-42-2, Root 6-0-11-0, Stokes 23.4-8-35-3 (4nb, 1w)
Result: England won by 189 runs
Series: The four-match series is level at 1-1


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