Ali bowls Eng­land to South Africa se­ries win

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Moeen Ali fin­ished a bril­liant cam­paign with a five-wicket haul as Eng­land beat South Africa by 177 runs in the fourth Test at Old Traf­ford yes­ter­day to seal a 3-1 se­ries win.

Vic­tory, achieved with more than a day to spare, also saw Joe Root tri­umphant in his first Test se­ries as Eng­land cap­tain. South Africa, set a huge 380 for vic­tory, were bowled out for 202 shortly af­ter tea on the fourth day when Ali took two wick­ets in two balls to re­move Morne Morkel and Duanne Olivier.

That gave the off-spin­ner a re­turn of five for 69 in 19.5 overs and 25 wick­ets in to­tal in a se­ries where he also scored 252 runs. This re­sult meant Eng­land had won their first home Test se­ries against South Africa since 1998. It was also just South Africa’s sec­ond de­feat in 20 away Test se­ries, their other over­seas cam­paign re­verse in that se­quence com­ing against In­dia in 2015/16.

South Africa, 43 for three at lunch, saw Hashim Amla (83) and cap­tain Faf du Plessis (61) put on 123 for the fourth wicket. But Ali then took three wick­ets for five runs in 11 ballsin­clud­ing the prize scalp of Amla-as the Proteas col­lapsed from 163 for three to 173 for six.

Ear­lier, Ali, both the man-of-the-match and the man of the se­ries, made 75 not out off just 66 balls in Eng­land’s sec­ond in­nings 243, hav­ing been dropped on 15. That left South Africa fac­ing a mam­moth chase, with no side hav­ing made more to win in the fourth in­nings of a Test at Old Traf­ford than Eng­land’s 294 for four against New Zealand in 2008.

South Africa’s al­ready dif­fi­cult task was not helped when they lost both open­ers, leav­ing them at 18 for two. Dean El­gar, who made a gritty sec­ond-in­nings hun­dred in Eng­land’s 239-run vic­tory in the third Test at The Oval, fell for five on Mon­day when caught be­hind off Stu­art Broad.

Heino Kuhn, strug­gling to ce­ment his Test place, re­peat­edly played and missed be­fore, on 11, edg­ing James An­der­son, again bowl­ing from the newly-named James An­der­son End, to Cook.

Temba Bavuma again bat­tled hard un­til, from the last ball be­fore lunch, he was given out caught be­hind on re­view off Toby Roland-Jones. Amla com­pleted a 100-ball fifty with his ninth four, a pull off Ben Stokes. He then twice forced Stokes off the back foot for two stylish off­side fours be­fore driv­ing Ali for six.

But with South Africa 163 for three, Amla missed an in­tended whip shot off Ali and was lbw, although Eng­land, for the sec­ond time yes­ter­day, had to first re­view um­pire Ku­mar Dhar­masena’s orig­i­nal not out de­ci­sion.

No re­plays were re­quired when Quin­ton de Kock (one) edged a drive off Ali to Alas­tair Cook in the slips. And 173 for five be­came 173 for six when The­u­nis de Bruyn fell for a duck, nick­ing Ali to slip fielder Stokes.

The end came quickly for South Africa, 182 for six at tea. Du Plessis, who played at Old Traf­ford for Lan­cashire, had added just one to his tea score when he was caught be­hind off An­der­son, Eng­land’s all-time lead­ing Test wick­et­taker. An­der­son, who fin­ished with three for 16, then had Kag­iso Rabada caught in the cov­ers. Ali, ap­pro­pri­ately, fin­ished the match with Morkel hol­ing out for a duck be­fore Olivier, also out for nought, was taken by Stokes at slip. —AFP

MANCH­ESTER: Eng­land’s Keaton Jen­nings, right, dives in but misses a catch from South Africa’s cap­tain Faf du Plessis, left, dur­ing day four of the Fourth Test at Emi­rates Old Traf­ford in Manch­ester, Eng­land, yes­ter­day.— AP

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