England cricket team completed a great summer by defeating South Africa 2-1 in the last test of the test series on Monday.
England made a mockery of South Africa’s 130-run mark in the final test of the series, chasing it down in 22.3 overs with nine wickets to spare. Zack Crawley finally paid back the selectors’ faith with a brilliant innings of 69 runs off 57 balls to help the visitors win the series.
England resumed its inning on 97-0 on the final day of the test match, requiring a paltry 33 in three sessions with all wickets intact. England took less than 30 minutes on day five to wrap up the Test and clinch a series victory against South Africa.
Kagiso Rabada claimed the solitary wicket of the innings, dismissing Alex Lees, who missed out on a half-century by 11 runs. The bowler could have had another wicket in the first over of the day, but Kyle Verreynne dropped a straightforward catch to deny him his second scalp. Crawley scored the winning runs and finished the game with a boundary.
The game was only 151.3 overs long, making it the fourth-shortest men’s Test match in history and the shortest since 1912.
However, it only took six sessions and 25-odd minutes for England to win the contest. The pacers led the way for the hosts in the first innings, which saw South Africa dismissed for 118. Ollie Robinson’s fifth five-wicket haul in Tests was well supported by Stuart Broad’s four-wicket haul.
Chasing 130, England got off to a flying start with Zak Crawley’s 36-ball fifty, putting the hosts on the edge of sealing up the Test in two days when terrible light forced early stumps on day four, with the hosts just 33 runs away from victory.
South Africa started their second innings in an attempt to take a big third innings lead after being bowled out for a petty score in the first one. The Proteas seemed much more secure in their second innings until Dean Elgar’s wicket caused a catastrophic collapse. South Africa, who were 70/1 at one point, were bowled out for 169.
The captain top scored for the visitors, scoring 36 runs before the team was stunned by immaculate bowling performances from Ben Stokes (3/39) and Stuart Board 3/45).
After cleaning the Proteas cheaply in the first innings, England appeared to be cruising for a massive first-innings lead, but South Africa came back well through Marco Jansen (5/35) and Kagiso Rabada (4/81) to limit the margin to just 40 runs.
Ollie Pope top-scored for the English team, scoring a superb half-century in quick time. He played crucial innings for the hosts, scoring 67 of just 77 balls.
Earlier the South African team was bundled out for just 118 in their first innings with the top-order of the team failing miserably. If not for contributions from the lower order, the team’s score was looking down at the barrel. Marco Jansen scored 30 off 59 balls and made an important contribution taking the team’s score into three digits.
Ollie Robinson made excellent use of the bowling friendly conditions on a wet and damp pitch claiming a five-wicket haul with an excellent display of seam bowling. He ended up with figures of 5/49.
Stuart Broad also played catalyst to the batting collapse of the Proteas and ended with figures of 4/41. He also surpassed the Australian great Glenn McGrath to become the second most successful pacer in the history of test matches.
His fellow countryman James Anderson leads the pacers tally of wickets in the history of test matches.
The man of the match was given to Ollie Robinson for match figures of 7 for 89, including a first (third)-day five-for.
England Captain Ben Stokes was adjudged the ‘Man of the Series’ for his brilliant performances throughout the series.
Jonny Bairstow, who was ruled out of the third test and the World Cup squad due to a freak accident was deemed ‘Player of the Summer’.
ENG- (158 and 130-1: Zak Crawley 69*, Alex Lees 39, Rabada 1/57) beat SA (118 and 169: Dean Elgar 36, Sarel Erwee 26, Stokes 3/39) by 9 wickets.