SA on brink of humiliating defeat after Root’s career-best performance - GulfToday

SA on brink of humiliating defeat after Root’s career-best performance

SA on brink of humiliating defeat   after Root’s career-best performance

England’s Joe Root (left) bowls against South Africa during their third Test match on Sunday. Agence France-Presse

Skipper Joe Root returned with the career-best bowling figure of 4-31 to leave South Africa on the brink of an innings defeat in the third Test at St George’s Park on Sunday.

A clinical Root ripped through the South Africa’s batting line-up as the Proteas slumped to 102 for six in their second innings after being forced to follow on.

The hosts still need 188 runs to avoid an innings defeat, with four wickets in hand as England look assured of taking an unassailable 2-1 series lead into the fourth and the final Test starting in Johannesburg on Friday.

England dominated the day despite the second lengthy rain break brought some respite to the stuttering South African camp. England got rid of four South African batsmen in a space of 28 balls for the addition of a single run at the resume of play, with Stuart Broad dismissing three of them without conceding a run.

In reply to England’s huge total of 499-9, South Africa were all out for 209 and Root immediately enforced the follow-on. Rain early in South Africa’s second innings threatened to thwart England’s push for victory but fast bowler Mark Wood struck twice when play resumed more than three hours later.

 Wood used his extreme pace to send Dean Elgar’s off stump flying out of the ground before he had Zubayr Hamza feeling for a ball outside his leg stump to present a catch to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

 Then it was over to Root, who in 90 previous Tests had never taken more than two wickets in an innings.

 Bowling from the end where fellow off-spinner Dom Bess took five wickets in the first innings, he trapped Pieter Malan leg before wicket in the last over before tea.

 Root took three more wickets after the interval.

 Rassie van der Dussen was superbly caught at short leg by Ollie Pope and first innings top-scorer Quinton de Kock fell to a leaping catch at backward point by a leaping Wood.

 South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was sixth out after making 36, his highest score of what has been a poor series for him. He was another bat-pad victim, giving Pope his fifth catch of the match.

 In overcast conditions at the start of play, Broad and Sam Curran achieved some swing with a ball which was almost new, but they were aided by some poor shots by the South African batsmen.

 Broad struck with the fourth delivery of the morning when Vernon Philander missed a drive against a full delivery which swung in between bat and pad. He was out for 27.

 Curran uprooted De Kock’s middle stump with the fifth ball of the next over with the left-hander missing an extravagant drive against a ball angled in from the left-armed bowler.

Agence France-Presse

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