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ENG v SA, 2nd Test, Day 2, Review: Morris, Maharaj rattle Three Lions as South Africa gain big lead

Proteas' finished off the day on a high at 75/1 with a consolidated lead of 205 runs.

England batsman Ben Stokes
England batsman Ben Stokes reacts after being dismissed. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Hosts England have already taken a lead in the series. It was up to the Proteas to bring back parity in the 2nd Test. The 2nd day was jam packed with action and drama. Early in the day, the English bowlers wrapped up the South African tail in no time as they were bowled out for 335 runs. The frustrating Vernon Philander-Chris Morris partnership was broken by James Anderson.

Jimmy then dismissed Maharaj and Morkel quickly to complete his 5-wicket haul. 335 was considered a good score on the unpredictable Trent Bridge wicket. The score looked brilliant when English batsmen came out to bat. One after the other, the batters fell like nine pins. Keaton Jennings was undone for a duck by Morke while Alastair Cook departed after scoring just three runs. Philander handed him the ticket to the dressing room.

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Skipper Joe Root and Gary Ballance tried to ‘balance’ the shaky start. They made a good comeback forming an 83-run partnership. But after the loss of Ballance to Philander, the England team never got back into the game. Root was still out there in the middle and with wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow, he formed a fifty-plus partnership. But that was the end of all resilience as Root finally surrendered to the big man, Morkel after scoring 78 runs.

It was time for Keshav Maharaj now to do justice to his surname. He did it by dismissing the best all-rounder in world cricket at the moment, Ben Stokes for a duck. After Stokes, it was Bairstow’s turn to stop his innings at 45 and surrender to the left-arm spinner. England were struggling at 177/6 and Moeen Ali was the last recognised batsman at the crease. The prolific all-rounder was dismissed for 18 by his South African counterpart Chris Morris.

The last three England wickets fell in a span of six runs. Liam Dawson also became a victim of Maharaj’s onslaught while Morris wrapped up Anderson and Broad not allowing them longer stays. England’s innings fell out for just 205 runs, thereby handing South Africa a crucial 130-run lead. Morris and Maharaj picked up three wickets each. English fans were hoping for a spirited show by their bowlers.

They began well as South African opener Heino Kuhn was dismissed for just 8 runs by James Anderson. But that was the end of all joys and laughs for the Englishmen as Dean Elgar and Hashim Amla cemented the innings wonderfully. At the end of the day, Elgar remained not out on 38 while Amla gathered 23 runs in the second day of the Test without throwing his wicket away. Proteas’ finished off the day on a high at 75/1 with a consolidated lead of 205 runs.

With both time and runs on their side, South Africa is certainly on the driver’s seat as of now. Dean Elgar injured his forearm as the pitch is quite unpredictable. Day 3 will be a vital, in fact probably the most important; the outcome-deciding day of the match.

Brief Score

1st Innings

South Africa – 335 all out (Hashim Amla 78, Quinton de Kock 68, Vernon Philander 54; James Anderson 5/72, Stuart Broad 3/47, Ben Stokes 2/77)

England – 205 all out (Joe Root 78; Keshav Maharaj 3/21, Chris Morris 3/38)

2nd Innings

South Africa – 75/1 (Dean Elgar 38*, Hashim Amla 23*)

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