Four wickets, one run! England enforce follow-on after Proteas' stunning collapse

By Sports Desk January 19, 2020

England enjoyed a dream start to day four of the third Test against South Africa as they took four wickets for just one run before enforcing the follow-on with a 290-run lead.

South Africa ended day three on 208-6 in Port Elizabeth, with Quinton de Kock (63) and Vernon Philander (27) having held firm in the evening session.

However, the tourists took the new ball halfway through the final over on Saturday, and the fresh cherry did plenty of damage the following morning as South Africa collapsed alarmingly to 209 all out.

Amid overcast conditions at St George's Park, Stuart Broad led the way, sending Philander's stumps cartwheeling with his sixth delivery of the day before Sam Curran dismissed the Proteas' star performer De Kock.

Both Philander and De Kock were bowled through the gate, having left huge gaps between bat and pad with careless drives.

Keshav Maharaj also fell to a poor shot, playing on to Broad for a duck as he attempted to pull a ball that was not short enough for the shot.

Kagiso Rabada scored South Africa's only run with a clip down the leg side off Curran, but he soon departed as well, tamely chipping a Broad delivery straight to mid-off.

Joe Root, who instructed Dom Bess (5-31) to lead England off the pitch, unsurprisingly invited South Africa to bat again as the visitors looked to press home their advantage and secure a 2-1 series lead ahead of the final Test in Johannesburg.

The prospect of further rain provided some comfort to South Africa, who were facing a huge battle to avoid defeat without interruptions in play.

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  • Babar Azam: Pakistan batsman rivals 'Fab Four' ahead of England Test series Babar Azam: Pakistan batsman rivals 'Fab Four' ahead of England Test series

    When Pakistan were previously in England for a Test series, Babar Azam saw a promising start cut short by a bad break.  

    The batsman made a half-century in the opening game at Lord’s in May 2018, but his involvement in the series was painfully cut short when struck on the left arm by a Ben Stokes short ball.  

    Forced to retire hurt with 68 to his name, Babar did not appear again during the tour. A fracture ended his contribution as the tourists triumphed at the home of cricket, while he had to watch on as his side were crushed in the second Test at Headingley. 

    At that stage of his career, Babar was viewed as a limited-overs specialist still making his way in the Test arena. With an average under 25 prior to playing England, he was – at the age of 23 – a player with obvious potential working out how to play the game of patience.

    Just over two years on, he returns to England having enhanced his reputation to such an extent that the so-called 'Fab Four' - Virat Kohli, Joe Root, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson - have company. It is unclear who identifies as the cricketing versions of Paul, John, Ringo and George, but Babar is not like the fifth Beatle – his identity is clear.

    Start a discussion with cricket fans over who should be considered the lead act in the group and you are opening a cricketing can of worms. It is a topic that, understandably, stirs up national pride, but also heated discussions about the weight of importance given to each format. 

    What is not up for debate, however, is that Babar deserves to be in the conversation. His white-ball numbers are outstanding – he averages over 50 in Twenty20 and one-dayers for Pakistan – yet his Test statistics in recent times provide additional evidence for those keen to argue his case.  

    Indeed, his average of 75.9 across his 12 Test knocks since the start of 2019 is the best rate of any batsman to have 10 or more innings during that period. Better than Kohli, despite the India captain piling on the runs at home against South Africa, including a career-best 254 not out. Better even than Smith, whose Ashes heroics last year were so crucial in helping Australia retain the urn on English soil.  

    He also sits above the same pairing when it comes to contributing for his team, providing an astonishing 22 per cent of Pakistan’s total Test runs over the period. There is clearly substance to the style now, a determined streak to go with the eye-catching technique.  

    Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, tipped Babar to become one of the best in the world at the start of the year; he was a little late to get on board a bandwagon that now offers standing room only. 

    "I think he is right up there already," Azhar Ali, Pakistan's Test skipper, said on the eve of the series opener with England at Old Trafford. 

    "His performances have improved massively in Test matches over the last year or so. Firstly, he was performing really well in white-ball cricket and people thought he was only a white-ball player, but he took on that challenge and played with a lot of freedom and flair.” 

    Babar's career totals do not stand up to the sheer volume scored by Kohli, Root, Smith and Williamson - at least not yet. Still, since 2018, he sits above the quartet in terms of Test average (65.5) and strike-rate (63.2 runs per 100 deliveries).

    That stretch includes a memorable maiden hundred on home soil. While rain ruined the spectacle of the first Test played in Pakistan for over a decade, Babar brightened up the final day against Sri Lanka in Rawalpindi with an unbeaten 102 that delighted the crowd who had patiently waited to see their team return.  

    Scores of 60 not out, 100 and 143 followed in the remainder of a truncated series, all from a player who did not reach three figures until his 17th Test. 

    Prior to that breakthrough innings against New Zealand in November 2018, Babar had managed an unspectacular 822 runs at 30.4. Since then, though, there have been four more three-figure scores in 10 games, plus a 97 in a losing cause against Australia in Adelaide when no colleagues were willing to stick around in support. 

    Pakistan are likely to lean on him heavily again in England, particularly as they come up against a team brimming with fast-bowling options and fresh off a 2-1 series victory over West Indies. 

    Babar's development - including a highly productive Cricket World Cup campaign last year on English soil, as well as finishing top run-scorer in the T20 Blast while playing for Somerset - suggests he will relish the challenge.

    The head-to-head battle with Root will be one of the main storylines, too. England's captain has much on his plate in the coming weeks, including fathoming out a way to nullify the brilliant Babar, who has stylishly climbed his way into the top tier of international batsmen.

  • Ultimate XI T20 Profile: Lasith Malinga Ultimate XI T20 Profile: Lasith Malinga

    Bridesmaids through the 2000s and the 2010s when the ICC World events came along, Sri Lanka had made it to two World Cup finals and two World T20 finals since Lasith Malinga debuted, losing on all four occasions.

    The World T20 of 2014 started with a crisis in leadership. With a host of former skippers in the side, but all of them reluctant to lead, Malinga happened upon leadership towards the end of the league stages when the management decided to drop their original skipper, Dinesh Chandimal.

    And boy, did he prosper. Bowling yorkers at the death at will to stifle the Indians, he ensured that the trophy finally came home - leading Sri Lanka to one of its finest moments on the cricketing field. It made him only the second captain of his country after Arjuna Ranatunga to lift an ICC world title. But long before that Malinga had been blessed with an action that defied the longevity he had. A whippy almost side-arm way of delivering, Malinga defied all logic and proved accurate despite convention suggesting he would struggle with it.

    With that whip came swing and pace. Of course, performances like the one in that final were almost inevitable given the work that Malinga put into perfecting his craft even with his strange delivery action.

     

    Career Statistics (2004-present)

    Full name: Separamadu Lasith Malinga

    Born: August 28, 1983 (36), Galle

    Major teams: Sri Lanka, Basnahira, BCCSL Academy XI, Galle Cricket Club, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs, Kandy, Kent, Khulna Titans, Maratha Arabians, Melbourne Stars, Montreal Tigers, Mumbai Indians, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Palace Diamonds, Rangpur Riders, Ruhuna, Ruhuna Reds, Ruhuna Royals, Southern Express, Southern Province, Sri Lanka A, Sri Lanka Board XI, Sri Lanka Cricket XI, Sri Lanka Emerging Team, Sri Lanka Masters, Sri Lanka Schools XI, St Lucia Zouks

    Playing role: Bowler

    Batting style: Right-hand bat

    Bowling style: Right-arm fast

     

    T20I Career - Sri Lanka

    Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts     BBI   BBM     Ave        Econ      SR    4w   5w 10w

    84          83        1799     2225       107       5/6    5/6      20.79       7.42      16.8    1     2     0

     

    T20 Career

    Mat      Inns      Balls     Runs     Wkts    BBI   BBM     Ave       Econ     SR     4w  5w  10w

    295       289       6508     7680        390      6/7     6/7     19.69     7.08      16.6    10    5     0

     

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    • Most T20I wickets 107, (84 matches at 20.79)
    • 1st bowler to take 100 T20I scalps
    • 2nd most T20 wickets (390 at 19.69)
    • T20 WC champion 2014 (captain)
    • Most T20I hat-tricks (2)
    • Most wickets in IPL history (170)

    IPL purple cap winner for most wickets (28) in 2011

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    He has been an asset for the Bangladesh team for a long time. In the bowling department, Shakib al Hasan possesses accuracy and consistency. Meanwhile, on the batting front, Shakib al Hasan has aggression and a variety of strokes in his arsenal.

    He made his international debut in 2006 for the ODI and T20 teams in 2006. A year later, he was drafted into the Test team for the very first time.

    In 2009, he ascended to the role of Bangladesh skipper and to date, remains the captain of the Test and T20 team.

    Shakib began his tryst with the IPL in 2011. From that year to 2017, he played for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Then, in 2018 he joined the Sunrisers Hyderabad and now has stuck with them for another year.

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    Full name: Shakib Al Hasan

    Born: March 24, 1987 (33), Magura, Jessore

    Major teams: Bangladesh, Adelaide Strikers, Bangladesh A, Bangladesh Cricket Board XI, Barbados Tridents, Brampton Wolves, Dhaka Gladiators, Jamaica Tallawahs, Karachi Kings, Khulna Division, Kolkata Knight Riders, Peshawar Zalmi, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Worcestershire

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    308       302       6487     7459        354       6/6     6/6       21.07      6.89     18.3    8       4       0

     

    Career Highlights

    • 3rd most T20I scalps, 92 in 76 matches at 20.58
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    • 3 T20I four-wicket hauls, 1 five-wicket haul
    • 5th most T20 wickets (354 at 21.07)
    • 1st to be ranked 'No.1 all-rounder' in all three formats
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