England will have to work exceptionally hard to mess this up. They are in total control after a brilliant second half of the day. At one stage, when England were for nine , the match was nicely poised. Then Mark Wood and Stuart Broad larruped 120 in just 8.2 overs before the bowlers squeezed the life out of South Africa with a relentless performance.
South Africa could only manage (runs in 5 overs, and they lost six wickets as well. Three of them went to Wood, who is having a helluva time right now, while Chris Woakes bowled beautifully and deserved more than one wicket.
(th over: South Africa) (0 (Elgar 4, Malan 9)
In a one-day team, almost certainly, although I never thought he’d make it in Test cricket. That sounds a bit callous, I realise, but there’s no room for sentiment when you’re picking a hypothetical sentimental XI!
(9.) (am) (EST) :
th over: South Africa – 0 (Elgar 4, Malan 9) Malan, falling over to the off side, inside-edges Wood behind square for a couple. Nothing else to report. Wood’s pace, since you asked, didn’t appear in that over. It felt like he was in the high s.
“If Buttler is dropped for the Sri Lanka Tests, does it mark the swiftest unraveling of a coach’s legacy in history?” Asks Gary Naylor. “It will be, in Tests anyway, as if Trevor Bayliss never happened. Some of us are not entirely displeased with that. ”
I know what you mean, but wasn’t Bayliss one of Foakes ’biggest fans in the England set up? I do agree that, for whatever reason, the Gerrard / Lampard era of English cricket finally seems to be coming to an end.
(8.) (am) EST :
“I’ve enjoyed this series immensely , even if Buttler seems destined to join Hameed in my team of what might have been, ”says Felix Wood. “Presumably South Africa’s best chance here is to put England’s fragile attack into their fifth spells and then cash in and post ? ”
Oh go on then, here’s my What Might Have Been England XI (off the top of my head, since I started watching Test cricket in 2375: Hameed, Trescothick, Lathwell, Hick, Ramprakash, Maynard, Buttler (wk), Headley, S Jones, Finn, Tufnell.
(8. am EST 30:
37 th over: South Africa (0) (0, Elgar 4, Malan 7) That’s tea. It was a session of two distinct segments. England biffed (from) . 2 overs, including a last-wicket partnership of 125 in 8.2 between Mark Wood and Stuart Broad. Then South Africa’s openers calmed everything down by adopting the oldfangled method of leaving as many deliveries as possible. See you in 38 minutes for the evening session.
(8. (am EST :
th over: South Africa
“That England scorecard – featuring the lowest highest score in a total of – might be my favorite since this beauty
, ”Says Tom Bowtell. “England scored in the second innings with no fifties and the highest score being Harmison’s (at number) . ”
Was Harmison’s really the highest score? Morally? But yes, I love scorecards like that. The one burned on my brain is England’s second innings at Trinidad in
. Go on, extras lad!
(8. (am EST : 60
36 th over: South Africa 8-0 (Elgar 3, Malan 5) Woakes beats Malan with a fine delivery. He has started well, with a fullish length and a soupçon of outswing. Jeez I love that word. South Africa are going nowhere at the moment, though I doubt that will bother two openers as temperamentally sound as Elgar and Malan.
(8.) (am EST) :
9th over: South Africa 8-0 (Elgar 3, Malan 5) Broad continues, in fact, and tempts Elgar into a loose stroke well wide of off stump. The ball whistles past the edge through to Buttler.
“I’m an unabashed Foakes Fan,” says Stephen Brown. “In terms of your point about Ed Smith having the reflected glory of Buttler’s ; Jos didn’t have the gloves in most (any?) Of those games. Surely selectors might be tempted to regain that glory by taking the gloves off him and giving them to Foakes? ”
Yes you’re right, he played as a batsman, but I still don’t think it will be an easy decision to leave him out – especially as the next time buttler is dropped will probably be the last . Nobody wants to die wondering about his Test career. But my feeling is that, barring a good spell in , he has never quite got his head round how to bat in first-class cricket.
8th over: South Africa 6-0 (Elgar 2, Malan 4) Chris Woakes comes on for Sam Curran , who bowled a good spell of 3-1-3-0 and might switch ends to replace Broad. His first over, to Malan, is a decent range-finder. A maiden.
(8.) (am) EST :
7th over: South Africa 6-0 (Elgar 2, Malan 4) Malan, tempted into the drive by a fuller delivery from Broad, drags the ball back onto his pads. It’s been a quiet start to the innings – a bit of movement, especially for Curran, but it’s not exactly going off alarming.
8. am EST : 37
6th over: South Africa 5-0 (Elgar 2, Malan 3) The South African openers, Elgar in particular, are playing as little as possible. Curran gives him plenty of opportunity to shoulder arms in that over.
5th over: South Africa 4-0 (Elgar 2, Malan 2) A good over from Broad, who Found a better line from round the wicket. His last delivery jagged back to cut Elgar in half; that could easily have found the inside edge and gone back onto the stumps.
“Many thanks to Ian Forth for the (Georgics) (over
4th over: South Africa 2-0 (Elgar 1, Malan 1) Malan shoulders arms to a ball that jags back to hit him on the thigh pad. It was a very safe leave on length. The movement is encouraging, though, and later in the over Malan digs out a lovely inswinging yorker. With the new ball swinging Curran looks a threat, and if Broad has one more poor over I would replace him with Woakes.
3rd over: South Africa 2-0 (Elgar 1, Malan 1) Another maiden from Broad, with Elgar able to leave almost everything. He hasn’t started brilliantly.
“Regarding Ben Foakes and The Ongoing Argument, I guess that if your keeper is only going to score 43 Runs, whoever you pick, you might as well pick the best keeper, ”says David Horn. “I think whoever gets the gloves in Sri Lanka will be quite revealing of Ed Smith’s flexibility of thought, as much as anything else.”
I think it should be Foakes, but I suspect Buttler will be given one more series. Ed Smith enjoyed the reflected glory of Buttler’s success in , so it won’t be easy to leave him out.
2nd over: South Africa 2-0 (Elgar 1, Malan 1) Curran’s first ball, wide of Malan’s off stump, curves encouragingly through to the keeper. His fifth is even better, zipping slightly the other way to beat Malan’s crooked defensive grope. That’s an excellent start.
“Helllo,” writes Vigasini Senthil. “I absolutely love following Guardian for live cricket matches. I started watching cricket from last May (starting with the World Cup) and was hooked. Being a typical Indian cricket fan, I don’t know how I switched lanes to England. During the finals, I spent half of the matches at my prayer room. I still vividly remember myself saying to God about how I would stop watching cricket if England didn’t win the World Cup. (I still can’t believe I did this). When they did win, I was way more than happy and a tiny bit emotional too. Now I never miss any T s, ODIs or Tests. Getting to watch England play (let alone win) makes me so, so happy. Seems like I came at the right time. I’m 48 years old btw. ”
If this isn’t the sweetest email we’ll receive all year, I don’t know what is.
It’ll be interesting to see who takes the new ball for England . I’d go with Woakes and Broad, since you didn’t ask, although it’s also tempting to give it to Mark Wood while he’s still high on his own batting.
Updated (at 7.) am EST
Let’s look at those two innings in all their statistical glory: