Ali hat-trick sees Eng­land thrash S Africa

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS - —AFP

Moeen Ali be­came the first bowler in The Oval’s 100 Test-his­tory to take a hat-trick as Eng­land wrapped up a crush­ing 239-run win in the third Test against South Africa on Mon­day.

Vic­tory put Eng­land 2-1 up in this four-match se­ries, with just the fourth Test at Old Traf­ford start­ing on Fri­day to come. Af­ter hav­ing Dean El­gar (136) and Kag­iso Rabada (nought) caught at first slip by Ben Stokes with the last two balls of his 16th over, off-spin­ner Ali ended The Oval’s land­mark match when he had Morne Morkel lbw with the first ball of his next over-al­though Eng­land had to first review um­pire Joel Wil­son’s not out de­ci­sion.

“I was very con­fi­dent it was out, as soon as it hit his pad,” Ali told Sky Sports of his hat-trick de­liv­ery. “It was a great feel­ing.” Ali’s tre­ble saw him be­come the 13th Eng­land bowler to take a hat-trick at this level, with South Africa’s sec­ond in­nings the first in the 140-year his­tory of Test cricket to in­clude four first-ball ducks.

South Africa, set a mam­moth 492 for vic­tory, were all out for 252 af­ter lunch, with Worces­ter­shire all-rounder Ali tak­ing four for 45. “What a way to cel­e­brate the 100th Test at this ground,” said Eng­land cap­tain Joe Root.

He added that Eng­land’s first-in­nings bat­ting, with man-of-the-match Stokes mak­ing 112 and for­mer cap­tain Alastair Cook 88 in a to­tal of 353, had laid the plat­form for an em­phatic suc­cess. “I think the way we bat­ted in the first in­nings was re­ally im­por­tant and set a good bench­mark for us.

“Alastair Cook’s in­nings was cru­cial-we could have gone five or six down but the way he played was bril­liant.” The way this se­ries has see-sawedEng­land won the first Test at Lord’s by 211 runs and South Africa took the sec­ond at Trent Bridge by 340 runs-will give the Proteas hope of bounc­ing back in Manch­ester.

“At no point have we made ex­cuses-we know Trent Bridge wasn’t good enough, we’ve re­sponded,” said Root.

South Africa were ham­pered by key seamer Ver­non Phi­lan­der, the man-of-the-match at Trent Bridge, be­ing off the field for much of this Test with a vi­ral in­fec­tion. “It’s ob­vi­ous to say that some­one like Ver­non Phi­lan­der miss­ing out on that first in­nings was costly, so they got 100 runs too many in that in­nings, but you have to say the English team bat­ted well,” said South Africa cap­tain Faf du Plessis. South Africa resumed yes­ter­day on 117 for four, with left-handed opener El­gar (72 not out) and Temba Bavuma (16 not out) hav­ing al­ready helped the Proteas re­cover from 52 for four on Sun­day. Vic­tory was all but be­yond South Africa, with no side hav­ing made more to win in the fourth in­nings of a Test than the West Indies’ 418 for seven against Aus­tralia at St John’s in 2003. Mid­dle­sex seamer Toby Roland-Jones, who had fol­lowed up his stun­ning Test de­but bowl­ing in­nings re­turn of five for 57 by dis­miss­ing star bats­man Hashim Amla cheaply for the sec­ond time in the match on Sun­day, even­tu­ally ended a stand worth 108 runs.

His full-length de­liv­ery struck Bavuma on the pad as the diminu­tive bats­man got only half-for­ward. Aleem Dar ruled not out but Eng­land re­viewed the ex­pe­ri­enced Pak­istani um­pire’s de­ci­sion and Bavuma had to go for 32 af­ter a de­fi­ant in­nings of more than two hours.

There was no need for a review next ball as South Africa’s 160 for five be­came 160 for six when Phi­lan­der in­ex­pli­ca­bly padded up to Roland-Jones and was plumb lbw. The 30-year-old El­gar, bat­ting with a bruised finger, bat­tled on for his eighth cen­tury in 38 Tests by loft­ing Ali over mid-off for a 16th four in 149 balls. But Chris Mor­ris, who sur­vived Roland-Jones’s hat-trick de­liv­ery, fell to the last ball be­fore lunch when he edged Ali to man-of-the­match Stokes to leave the Proteas 205 for seven. El­gar’s more than five-and-half hours at the crease ended when he prod­ded for­ward to Ali and Stokes did the rest.

— AP

LON­DON: South Africa’s Dean El­gar plays a shot off the bowl­ing of Eng­land’s Toby Roland-Jones on the fifth day of the third Test match be­tween Eng­land and South Africa at The Oval cricket ground in Lon­don, yes­ter­day.

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