The South African team took full advantage of a lacklustre England batting display to secure a comprehensive 340-run win in the second test. Chasing 474 to win England were bowled out for a paltry 133. With this win, the Proteas levelled the series 1-1 and with two games left to play the series is once again wide open.
It may be recalled here that England had won the first Test at Lords by 211 runs. But South Africa responded strongly on Day 4 and picked up all ten wickets before the end of days play. For the hosts, none of the batsmen stood tall and took the responsibility of hanging in the middle. Not a single batsman surpassed the score of 50.
For South Africa, Vernon Philander and Chris Morris were the wrecker-in-chiefs. In their spells, they went through the England top-order and Morris took two key wickets which included that of skipper Joe Root and Alastair Cook. From thereon England could never recover from the setback and lost their last six wickets for 49 runs. Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj also picked up three wickets. For his brilliant bowling performance, Vernon Philander has duly rewarded the man of the match.
After receiving the award, Philander said, “We were all disappointed after the Lord’s Test match and needed to do something better here. Going into that Test I was a bit cold with the ankle injury that I sustained playing for Sussex. Over here, I got my groove back. Once you get the rhythm going, you need to make the most of it. All the bowlers have been significant in this match. An all round performance from the team today.”