Root puts South Africa in a spin as England close in on victory

By Sports Desk January 19, 2020

Joe Root produced the finest bowling performance of his England career on day four of the third Test to put the tourists within sight of victory over South Africa at St George's Park.

Surely only rain can save the hosts now, with a mixed forecast for the final day in Port Elizabeth, where England need only four wickets to take a 2-1 lead with one match to play.

Root had never taken more than two wickets in a Test, but the captain snagged 4-31 in 19 overs on Sunday after Mark Wood struck twice to leave South Africa 102-6 in their second innings, still trailing by 188 runs.

Part-time off-spinner Root only had one previous four-wicket haul, the 4-5 he took to steer Yorkshire to a County Championship victory against Lancashire at Old Trafford in July 2018.

England were already in command and they pressed home their advantage on day four, with 10 South Africa wickets falling for just 103 runs.

South Africa had a wretched morning, losing four wickets for just one run to slump from 208-6 to 209 all out. England had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on.

Vernon Philander and Quinton de Kock were 54 runs into a seventh-wicket stand at stumps on the previous evening, but that partnership was swiftly broken.

Both men went the same way, bowled through the gate, with Stuart Broad (3-30) cleaning up Philander and Sam Curran delighting at removing De Kock (63).

Keshav Maharaj chopped on to give Broad his second wicket of the morning, before a third followed for the paceman when Kagiso Rabada chipped straight to Wood at mid-off.

South Africa were 15-0 in their second innings when rain arrived to provide respite, with three hours lost.

Eight balls into the resumption came another blow to the Proteas, Wood piercing Dean Elgar's defences and tearing his off stump out of the ground.

Wood (2-23) struck again when a leg-side snick from the struggling Zubayr Hamza was gratefully received by Jos Buttler.

Sliced and diced by England's quicks, South Africa found the tourists' spinners almost unplayable too, with Dom Bess keeping a tight line, but Root rampant.

Root pinned Pieter Malan lbw for 12 - the opener having faced 79 balls for those runs - and then prised out Rasse van der Dussen when Ollie Pope took off from short leg to grab a spectacular leaping catch.

Van der Dussen had survived a string of scares against Root, most notably when he successfully reviewed an lbw decision, and his time had been coming.

De Kock's bad day got even worse, a horribly sliced hoik at Root looping up for Wood to clutch a tremendous catch above his head at point.

And Root had a fourth victim when Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis (36) got a big inside edge into his pads and the ball looped up for Pope to collect.

South Africa need to find something big on day five to save face, and avoid going to Johannesburg needing a victory to draw the series. The skies offer their best hope.

Related items

  • Rohit uneasy with Dhoni comparisons: He's one of a kind Rohit uneasy with Dhoni comparisons: He's one of a kind

    Rohit Sharma has distanced himself from comparisons to former India captain MS Dhoni which were made by Suresh Raina.

    Speaking on the Super Over podcast, Raina likened Rohit's leadership to that of Dhoni, who captained India in over 300 matches across all formats and led the team to all three ICC white-ball trophies during his tenure between 2007 and 2016.

    Though Virat Kohli succeeded Dhoni as India's skipper, Raina talked up Rohit's demeanour and described him as "the next MS Dhoni for the Indian cricket team".

    When that was put to Rohit in an online question-and-answer session, the opener said on a Twitter video: "Yes, I heard about that comment from Suresh Raina.

    "MS Dhoni is one of a kind and nobody can be like him and I believe comparisons should not be made like that, every individual is different and has his strengths and weaknesses."

    Rohit, 33, has led Mumbai Indians to a record four Indian Premier League titles and has also captained India in 10 ODIs and 19 Twenty20 internationals, winning 23 of those 29 matches.

    "Around him, players enjoy the intensity, they enjoy his aura," former India batsman Raina had said.

    "When you enjoy the aura of a player, you like to be positive and I think that is what he is good at.

    "MS Dhoni was brilliant. He [Rohit] has won more [IPL] trophies than MS, but they both are very similar. Both of them, as captains, like to listen.

    "When your captain is listening, you can solve a lot of problems, you can solve the mental aspects of the players. So in my book, they both are wonderful.

    "I have seen [Rohit], he is calm, he likes to listen. He likes to give confidence to the players and on top of that, he likes to lead from the front.

    "When a captain leads from the front and, at the same time, he gives respect to the dressing-room atmosphere, you know you have it all."

  • Ultimate XI T20 Profile: Joe Root Ultimate XI T20 Profile: Joe Root

    At first glance, Joe Root does not look like the type of batsman that makes for a successful T20 player. Obdurate in the Test arena and the solid anchor sheet in One-Day Internationals, Root doesn’t seem to have the swashbuckling, sometimes even kamikaze-like penchant for attacking bowling that the best proponents of the shortest form of the game seem to possess. But, for some reason, maybe his incredible work ethic has helped him, he has adapted.

    Root depends on deft touches and manipulations of the field to accumulate his runs, but his ability to do so is so exquisite that he could hurt a team without ever hitting a six. In fact, Root has only ever hit 16 sixes for England in 32 T20I outings. He has, however, scored five half-centuries in that period and averages above 35. The story is similar in the T20 arena where he has scored nine half-centuries in 20 games at an average of 30 and a half. His strike rate of 126 in international cricket and 125 in T20s isn’t staggering, but it does show remarkable adaptability for a man who strikes at 50 in the Test arena and just 60 in ODIs.

    Career Statistics (2011-present)

    Full name: Joseph Edward Root

    Born: December 30, 1990, Sheffield, Yorkshire (29)

    Major teams: England, England Lions, England Under-19s, Sydney Thunder, Yorkshire, Yorkshire 2nd XI, Yorkshire Academy, Yorkshire Under-17s

    Playing role: Top-order batsman

    Batting style: Right-hand bat

    Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak, Legbreak

     

    T20I Career

    Mat   Inns   NO    Runs    HS     Ave      BF      SR       100   50     4s      6s    

    32       30       5      893      90*   35.72    707   126.30     0      5      92      16   

    T20 Career

    Mat   Inns   NO    Runs     HS     Ave      BF         SR         100   50    4s     6s     

    72         66    13    1619      92*   30.54    1288      125.69      0      9    180    24    

     

    Career Highlights

    • 32 T20I caps scoring 893 runs at 35.72
    • 1619 T20 runs at average of 30.54
  • Ultimate XI T20 Profile: Kane Williamson Ultimate XI T20 Profile: Kane Williamson

    The wicket of Kane Williamson is among the most prized in all of cricket, simple because he takes care of it so well. Not taking a chance against the New Zealand captain is probably the biggest mistake any opposition can make. Once Williamson is at the crease, New Zealand is likely to be a difficult prospect to beat.

    What is worse, is if Williamson has scored some runs before he plays against your team. That is problematic because he scores runs in bunches, like he did in the 2018 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) where he donned the Orange Cap, having scored 735 runs on the season. That was the season when Williamson was first announced as captain of Sunriser’s Hyderabad, a team he led to the IPL final where they were defeated by the Chennai Super Kings. And that has been the trend with Williamson, his performances improve with mounting responsibilities.

    A stroke player, rather than a 'muscler' of the cricket ball, Williamson had to learn to play in the shortest format of the game, but he has. He was bought by Sunrisers for US$96,000 in 2015, winning the title the following year. He was one of the retained players in 2017, but by 2018, his value as a T20 batsman had soared, and it cost Sunrisers US$460,500 to keep him.  

     

    Career Statistics (2009-present)

    Full name: Kane Stuart Williamson

    Born: August 8, 1990, Tauranga (29)

    Major teams: New Zealand, Barbados Tridents, Edmonton Royals, Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire 2nd XI, New Zealand A, New Zealand Cricket XI, New Zealand Emerging Players, New Zealand Under-19s, New Zealand Under-19s, New Zealand XI, Northern Districts, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Yorkshire

    Playing role: Top-order batsman

    Batting style: Right-hand bat

    Bowling style: Right-arm offbreak

     

    T20I Career

    Mat   Inns   NO    Runs         HS     Ave    BF         SR     100   50         4s     6s     Ct         St

    60    58    7      1665         95    32.64         1330         125.18      0         11    170   36         27    0

    T20 Career

    Mat   Inns   NO    Runs         HS     Ave    BF         SR     100   50         4s     6s     Ct         St

    181   173   21    4593         101* 30.21         3681         124.77      1         31    430   115         71    0  

     

    Career Highlights

    • T20I caps for New Zealand (60)
    • 5th most T20I runs by a Kiwi (1665)
    • Averages 32.64 in T20Is
    • 4593 T20 runs at 30.21 average
    • IPL 2018 orange cap winner (735 runs)
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.