ENG­LAND HUM­BLED AS SA LEV­ELS SE­RIES

Muscat Daily - - SPORTS -

peak of their game and this time they gained ex­cel­lent sup­port from Chris Mor­ris (2-7) with only Duanne Olivier (2-25), an unim­pres­sive stand-in for Kag­iso Rabada, fail­ing to pose a per­pet­ual threat.

Eng­land had a sin­gle to its name overnight. It felt ut­terly worth­less; its de­feat looked only a mat­ter of time. Per­haps it could have planted it and hoped it ger­mi­nated, or framed it and put it on the wall. Wick­ets would not be long de­layed. By the time the lunch clock brought tem­po­rary re­lease, it had ca­reered 79 for four. Only 16.2 overs later it was all over.

Alas­tair Cook put up most Eng­land re­sis­tance, scram­bling 42 from 76 balls be­fore he be­came the fourth Eng­land bats­man dis­missed, hur­ried by Mor­ris' ex­cel­lent bouncer and punch­ing it away from his face down the leg-side where Quin­ton de Kock held the catch.

Keaton Jen­nings fell in the sec­ond over of the morn­ing, Phi­lan­der wast­ing no time in cre­at­ing a gap be­tween bat and pad to bowl him. Gary Bal­lance never got out of his ditch and fell lbw to Phi­lan­der.

Root (8), the cap­tain, played in­side a swing­ing yorker from Mor­ris. An­other ex­cel­lent de­liv­ery from a South Africa at­tack hunt­ing Eng­land down with ad­mirable skill.

Jonny Bairstow's self-ad­mon- ish­ment was clear as he tried to hit Ke­shav Ma­haraj's left-arm spin down the ground and only suc­ceeded in drag­ging it to deep mid-on. Moeen Ali reached 27 with his usual sang-froid and then top-edged a sweep at the same bowler to Heino Kuhn in front of square.

At least Ben Stokes (18) showed a will­ing­ness to buckle down, not for the first time, be­fore push­ing back a wary drive at Phi­lan­der.

The end was rapid, as if Eng­land's three pace bowlers, still aching from their work on the third day, had ob­served the ef­forts of the bats­men on the fourth and de­cided they had seen enough.

Stu­art Broad in­dulged in a slog-sweep and was lucky only to get a groan from his home crowd, and Olivier wrapped things up with two in two.

Mark Wood spliced to gully, James An­der­son poked to the keeper.

The se­ries swung markedly from Eng­land to South Africa and con­ceiv­ably in the last two Tests it could swing back again. But it is South Africa who look in­grained in the ways of Test cricket.

(AFP)

South African cap­tain Faf du Plessis (cen­tre) leads his team off the field af­ter de­feat­ing Eng­land in the sec­ond Test in Not­ting­ham, UK, on Mon­day

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