Scotland England Rugby

Scotland England Rugby
Image by aji argo putro from Pixabay

England (303 & 326) beat South Africa (214 & 174) by 241 runs

England effect South Africa’s heaviest defeat at Durban and have been quite superb in almost every department. The world number one side have been crushed and England deserve huge credit.

Nasser: “South Africa rely heavily on one or two cricketers. England have had a complete team performance here.”

England’s glories of late have tended to be based on the performances of Cook, Root, Broad and Anderson. With one of those missing, and Cook having an off game with the bat, it has indeed been very pleasing to see the other guys delivering.

Compton and Taylor dug England out of a 49/3 hole on day one. Broad led the attack superbly with four in the first innings. Moeen Ali took seven wickets in the match, Steve Finn six. Stokes got the wicket of van Zyl yesterday afternoon when South Africa had got a flyer. Bairstow made a pumped, dominating 79 in the second innings to crush any South African hopes of having a gettable target.

No wicket for Broady, but the double change works

WICKET! Piedt c Taylor b Woakes 0 The dogged Dane Piedt, who was never going to score a run, let alone survive the day, walks back to the pavillion secure in the knowledge that he did his level best. This is an unpleasant over from Woakes, who generates plenty of pace from a somewhat uanssuming look. He digs one in that lifts and hits Piedt amidships. Couple of balls later, he prods forward stolidly, gets an inside edge and the ball loops easily to Taylor, who is some yards back at short leg. FOW 155/9

OVER 61: SA 155/8 (Duminy 15* Piedt 0*)

Excellence from Finn, rattling the splice of JPD’s bat, giving it the full gun. Edged! Between the 3rd and 4th slips, well bowled, that could easily have been curtains for JP. If South Africa do bring in a keeper, probably Quinton de Kock, to lessen de Villiers’s workload, you would imagine that they have to drop one of Duminy, du Plessis and Bavuma, right?

Bairstow has a stumping!

WICKET! Bavuma st Bairstow b Ali 0 England’s cup runneth over and there will be no happier man alive right about now than Jonny Bairstow, who has pulled off a regulation stumping. Bavuma charges down the pitch and has a go, but this is Ali’s arm ball and it does not turn. It slides past his outside edge, Bairstow has all the time in the world and he joyously whips off the bails. FOW 136/6

Nice para from Houlty earlier: “It has been so long since Matt Prior stumped Cheteshwar Pujara off Graeme Swann in Mumbai on November 23 2012 that Root, who made his debut two matches later, has spent an entire Test career climbing to the top of the world rankings having never seen an England colleague manage the feat.” That’s all changed now! Rooty has seen it with his own eyes.

Nasser on Bairstow

“In isolation, that stumping chance for Bairstow was very difficult. Paul Farbrace also said that he kept well. He didn’t. Very tough for these keepers, Bairstow will have felt like a million dollars coming off after his batting but [his morale] will have crashed after that stumping.”

Key: “Young keepers coming into the game via Counties spend 80% on their batting and 20% on their keeping. And then they get a chance at international level and they think… crikey. I have to up the ante [on the glove work I am doing].”

It’s a pickle, alright. Would you rather have someone who could bat at nine and averages perhaps 25 with the bat and catches everything or would you have someone who bats 7 or even 6 and averages 40?

I personally don’t think that Bairstow the number seven who comes in and whacks a fifty when the going’s good is irreplaceable. I don’t personally think he has the technique to bat in the top six when the conditions are tough and the pressure is really on. There. I’ve said it.

Anyway, here is Nick Hoult on this very issue.