Proteas rise from can­vas to fight on

The Times (South Africa) - - SPORT - TELFORD VICE

WAS it the re­as­sur­ance that re­turned with Faf du Plessis‚ the emo­tion en­gen­dered by the plight of Rus­sell Domingo‚ or the re­moval from the chain of weak link JP Du­miny?

What­ever it was‚ it earned South Africa a crush­ing vic­tory over Eng­land in the sec­ond Test at Trent Bridge yes­ter­day. They were home with more than a day to spare‚ win­ning by 340 runs.

If the weight­i­ness of the score­line seems fa­mil­iar, it is be­cause Eng­land won the first Test by 211 runs in­side four days at Lord’s last Sun­day.

Du Plessis‚ the crick­eter most com­fort­able with cap­taincy‚ missed that match. He was at home mar­vel­ling at his and wife Imari’s first-born.

Domingo‚ an in­creas­ingly revered coach‚ didn’t see the end of it. His mother had taken a turn for the worse and died in the hours af­ter the last wicket fell.

Du­miny‚ as self­less a ser­vant as a team could have‚ played what may be his last Test: seven in­nings without reach­ing 40‚ never mind 50‚ and only two cen­turies in his last 16 trips to the crease tipped the se­lec­to­rial scales against him. Five days af­ter they were laid low at Lord’s‚ South Africa rose from that can­vas to fight on.

Eight days on‚ they de­liv­ered the knock­out blow by dis­miss­ing Eng­land — who were set what would have been a world record tar­get of 474 — for 133.

The in­nings that lasted a touch more than three-and-a-half hours and no runs were scored as the last three wick­ets tum­bled off four balls. The home side re­sumed with a soli­tary run on the board‚ and lost their first wicket to the 11th ball of the day when Ver­non Phi­lan­der bowled Keaton Jen­nings through the gate for three. Phi­lan­der struck again to trap Gary Bal­lance in front for four‚ and Eng­land were 55/3 when Chris Mor­ris yorked Joe Root for eight with a fine de­liv­ery that swerved past the bat and clipped the base of off-stump.

Mor­ris then claimed the key wicket of Alas­tair Cook in the fourth over with a bouncer. The trend con­tin­ued nine balls af­ter lunch when Jonny Bairstow slapped a de­liv­ery from Ke­shav Ma­haraj into the hands of mid-on to go for 16.

Eng­land’s last se­ri­ous hopes were Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali‚ but they were dis­missed six balls apart for 18 and 27.

Phi­lan­der and Ma­haraj took three wick­ets each‚ and Mor­ris claimed 2/7 in six overs. The se­ries‚ locked at 1-1‚ re­sumes at The Oval on July 27.

Pic­ture: GETTY IMAGES

JOU LEKKER DING: Ver­non Phi­lan­der, front, Quin­ton de Kock, Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis ap­peal for the wicket of Eng­land bats­man Gary Bal­lance in day four of the sec­ond Test match yes­ter­day

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