England’s tail enders frustrate SA’s bowling attack

25 January 2020 - 15:55 By Liam Del Carme
Mark Wood of England bats during the International Test Series 2019/20 match between South Africa and England at Imperial Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on 25 January 2020.
Mark Wood of England bats during the International Test Series 2019/20 match between South Africa and England at Imperial Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg on 25 January 2020.
Image: ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

England’s tail swung lustily against an increasingly listless South African attack to bat their side into a near impregnable position on day two of the fourth Test here on Saturday.

Their position of strength in this match holds similar benefit for their prospects of maintaining their advantage in the series.

The visitor’s first innings delivered a sting in its tail as Joe Root’s side amassed 400 in their first innings and by tea South Africa had reached 11 without loss in their reply. Earlier‚ with England losing momentum on 269 for seven‚ South Africa captain Faf du Plessis would have harboured aspirations of restricting the tourists to under 300‚ perhaps 320 tops.

By then they had dismissed the overnight danger men Root (59) and Ollie Pope (56) and quick Anrich Nortje (five for 110) was delivering at 150km/h.

However‚ the contributions of No 9 Chris Woakes (32)‚ Mark Wood (35 not out) and Stuart Broad (43) saw England reach a psychological milestone that will weigh heavily on the South Africans’ deliberations.

Apart from Nortje‚ who took his maiden five wicket haul‚ the South African attack lacked verve and vigour as the England tailenders took liberties against a one dimensional attack.

To be fair‚ they were also given license to blaze away by some generous field placings.

X