South Africa vs England 2019-20: Visitors level series as Proteas left stranded in 2nd Test
Not many would have thought that the hosts would bat for 130 overs in the fourth innings after being set a daunting target of 438 by England. But that is exactly the way this particular contest panned out at Cape Town. For most part of the fifth day, South Africa preferred the 'blockathon' way of countering the English bowlers. Both Quinton de Kock and Rassie van der Dussen capitalized on the start provided by Pieter Malan and Dean Elgar.
Malan was unscathed by all the volleys thrown at him by the pacers. He dug deep and gave the hosts a reason to fight till the wee hours of the final day. The debutant though missed out on a well-deserved hundred as he perished for 84.
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De Kock looked in good touch and laced seven boundaries to bring up a gutsy fifty. Just as the stand between him and Van der Dussen started looking threatening to the opposition, De Kock’s ‘brain-fart’ moment cost South Africa dear. The southpaw tried to loft a slower one from Sam Curran, only to find James Anderson at mid-off.
But the highlight of the day was reserved for Joe Root’s tactical masterstroke. The England skipper’s move to send Anderson from mid-on to leg gully paid rich dividends as Van der Dussen’s 140-ball vigil ended in a soft dismissal. A steer down the leg-side, off his pads, found Anderson at the right place as Stuart Broad went aesthetic.
Ben Stokes was the pick of the bowlers for England. He was at it, hitting the deck hard and bowling at a good pace. The all-rounder bagged figures of 3/35. The likes of Anderson and Broad had an ordinary day in the office but some fine catching in the slips, coupled with the support from the tourists in the stands helped the Three Lions seal a comprehensive victory by 189 runs.Published 07 Jan 2020, 22:06 IST