Cricket
Members of the England squad look relaxed after beating South Africa by an innings on Monday. Image Credit: Reuters

Port Elizabeth: England completed a comprehensive win by an innings and 53 runs on the fifth day of the third Test against South Africa at St George’s Park on Monday, taking an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the four-match series.

England were held up by a last wicket stand of 99 between Keshav Maharaj (71) and Dane Paterson (39 not out) and it needed a direct-hit run-out by Sam Curran from mid-on to clinch the result shortly before lunch. South Africa were bowled out for 237.

The partnership between Maharaj and Paterson was easily South Africa’s best of the match and showed up an otherwise poor batting performance by the hosts.

South Africa added 135 runs in losing their last four wickets, which seemed unlikely when Vernon Philander chipped a catch to midwicket off Stuart Broad three balls into the day.

Mark Wood and Dom Bess also took wickets but England captain Joe Root could not add to his four wickets taken on Sunday, conceding 56 runs in 10 overs on Monday to finish with four for 87.

Maharaj hit Root for three fours and two sixes in an over which ended with four byes, costing 28 in total.

Despite the late face-saving flourish for the hosts, it was a result which was a triumph for England’s youth policy, while the way South Africa were outplayed was a devastating blow for captain Faf du Plessis and new coach Mark Boucher.

Even before Monday’s last rites there was speculation about Du Plessis’ future. He has expressed his desire to lead South Africa in the T20 World Cup in Australia in October and November, by which time he will be 36.

It seems possible that the fourth Test in Johannesburg from Friday could be his last home series in charge.

a beleaguered South Africa signalled the possibility of wholesale changes to their team for the last Test against England after recalling four players.

Batsmen Temba Bavuma and Keegan Petersen, left-arm seam bowler Beuran Hendricks, and all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo will join the team in Johannesburg on Wednesday, and are expected to stand a good chance of playing when the last Test at The Wanderers begins on Friday.

South Africa have to do without top bowler Kagiso Rabada, suspended for the last Test by the International Cricket Council, and are considering other changes, coach Mark Boucher admitted.

It was South Africa’s seventh defeat in their last eight Tests, the only exception being their win in the first Test against England when it seemed that radical changes in the team management might have heralded a new dawn.

A resurgent England team bounced back from defeat at Centurion to win the second Test in Cape Town by 189 runs and they dominated in Port Elizabeth, with two 22-year-olds, batsman Ollie Pope and off-spinner Dom Bess playing significant roles.

Scorecard

England (1st innings) 499 for nine declared

South Africa (1st innings) 209 all out

South Africa (2nd innings)

P. Malan lbw Root 12

D. Elgar b Wood 15

Z. Hamza c Buttler b Wood 2

F. du Plessis c Pope b Root 36

R. van der Dussen c Pope b Root 10

Q. de Kock c Wood b Root 3

V. Philander c Pope b Broad 13

K. Maharaj Run Out 71

K. Rabada c Broad b Wood 16

A. Nortje b Dom Bess 5

D. Paterson Not Out 39

Extras (12b 1lb 1nb 0pen 1w) 15

Total (88.5 overs) 237 all out

Fall of Wickets : 1-18 Elgar, 2-22 Hamza, 3-44 Malan, 4-66 van der Dussen, 5-74 de Kock, 6-83 du Plessis, 7-102 Philander, 8-128 Rabada, 9-138 Nortje, 10-237 Maharaj

Bowling: Broad 10 5 14 1; Curran 6 0 46 0; Wood 16.5 6 32 3; Bess 22 11 36 1; Stokes 5 2 9 0; Root 29 13 87 4.

Umpire Bruce Oxenford

Umpire Rodney Tucker

Video Joel Wilson

Match Referee Andrew Pycroft