SA v ZIM, One-off Test, Day 2 Review: South Africa wind up things inside two days

SA v ZIM, One-off Test, Day 2 Review: South Africa wind up things inside two days

Aiden Markram received the player of the match award for his outstanding hundred in the first innings. 

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers as the stand-in wicketkeeper in place of injured Quinton de Kock. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Even the best of teams go down cheaply to South Africa when they’re in full flow and Zimbabwe is the latest victims of their carnage. How often we see Test matches getting done and dusted inside two days? Very very rarely! But that’s what happened at Port Elizabeth. Morne Morkel’s breathtaking spell and Keshav Maharaj’s spinning brilliance rattled the visitors two times inside 73 overs.

Resuming day 2 at 31/4, they were clearly out of contention to even pull off a stalemate. Everyone knew it was going to be a matter of time. But no one expected the Proteas to win the game in such a short time. They pounded ruthlessly on Graeme Cremer’s men, which left them with nothing but embarrassment.

It didn’t take an awful lot of time for the Proteas to strike on day 2. Ryan Burl’s stumps flying off its place embarked their downfall. Morne Morkel was the man who cleaned him up and they lost half their side for 36. Thanks to some brilliant piece of bowling from their contingent, Zimbabwe got bowled out for a paltry 68.

Morne Morkel returned with figures of 5/21, whilst Rabada and Phehlukwayo registered braces. The follow-on was enforced and the first-ever four day Test since 1973 was on the verge of finishing inside two days. Yet, many expected Zimbabwe to see off day 2 no matter what. But that never happened, rather the Proteas bowlers never let that happen.

Another exhibition of top-notch bowling

After a 10-minute break, AB de Villiers‘ side came back even stronger. Hamilton Masakadza tried to release the pressure by playing a few lofted shots. He even connected one very well Keshav Maharaj to clear the fencing. But that didn’t bring down the morale of the left-arm spinner as he went on to pick up a five-fer in the second innings.

Chibhabha was the first to go after battling it out hard for 17 overs. The openers added 54 runs for the first wicket, after which, they definitely should’ve forced the play to continue on day 3. But the Proteas bowlers kept striking on regular occasions once Brendan Taylor fell in the 27th over.

Wickets kept tumbling like a pack of cards. Craig Ervine was caught plumb in front of the stumps just two balls after Taylor went back. After picking up Ervine’s wicket, Phehlukwayo then took a decent catch to dismiss Sikandar Raza in the next over off Maharaj. Phehlukwayo chipped in with another wicket in his next over, which meant the visitors lost 4 wickets in 4 consecutive overs.

Masakadza, who was just about hanging in at the other end watching the events unfold, fell prey to some outstanding bowling from Maharaj. Despite staying at the crease for 34 overs, he only faced 34 balls. Philander and Maharaj cleaned up the remaining three wickets without any fuss as South Africa registered a gigantic win by an innings and 120 runs. Aiden Markram received the player of the match award for his outstanding hundred in the first innings.

Brief Scores

South Africa first innings: 309/9 declared in 78.3 overs (Aiden Markram 125, AB de Villiers 53, Temba Bavuma 44; Kyle Jarvis 3/57)

Zimbabwe first innings: 68 all out in 30.1 overs (Morne Morkel 5/21, Kagiso Rabada 2/12, Andile Phehlukwayo 2/12)

Zimbabwe second innings (F/O): 121 all out in 42.3 overs (Keshav Maharaj 5/59, Andile Phehlukwayo 3/13)

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