Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 31st 2015 Contents A61
Thursday, December 31, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
DURBAN---England moved swiftly to a
big win over the top-ranked team in Test
cricket yesterday, sweeping aside South
Africa s last six batsmen in a 241-run
victory in the first Test.
Spinner Moeen Ali trapped AB de Villiers
lbw for 37 in the first over of the last day,
and England accounted for South Africa s
struggling batting line-up for 174 in its
second innings. England took six wickets
for only 38 runs in 24 overs on the fifth
day to be completely dominant at the end
Chasing a first series win over South
Africa in more than a decade, England
took a morale-boosting lead in the four-
match series, with the second Test in Cape
Town to follow on Saturday.
"Pretty good test match," England cap-
tain Alastair Cook said. "The lads played
pretty well to be honest with you...a pretty
pleasing five days."
England set the Proteas an almost
unreachable target of 416 to win, or four-
and-a-half sessions to survive for a draw.
South Africa never came close.
"Not a good Christmas, that s for sure,"
South Africa coach Russell Domingo said.
"We didn t play half as well as we can."
Quick bowler Steven Finn finished with
4--42 and Ali 3--47 in the second innings
to complete England s dominance in Dur-
ban. Ali had seven wickets in the match.
England s batting was also far superior,
making 303 and 326 compared to South
Africa s two poor totals of 214 and 174.
England s significant victory was only its
second win in its last 16 Tests away from
home, and places it perfectly for a strong
showing in the second match of a four-
Test series in just three days.
"Let s not get too carried away, but it
would be great if we could get our noses
ahead in that game and continue to put
pressure on South Africa," Cook said.
The speed with which England dis-
pensed with the Proteas on Wednesday
morning was astonishing, and underlined
the doubts hanging over the world s No
1 team, which has struggled through most
of 2015 and will lose its top ranking if it
loses this series.
England s big win in Durban had reper-
cussions beyond just this match, with
South Africa likely to lose top fast bowler
Dale Steyn to injury for the Cape Town
test and the makeup of the rest of the
team generally unwell. De Villiers, South
Africa s best player, said this week that
he is struggling with fatigue, the Proteas
batsmen are badly out of form and were
exposed again by England, and there are
murmurs of unrest in the squad because
of selection policies.
South Africa captain Hashim Amla hint-
ed Steyn would likely miss out in Cape
Town because of his right shoulder prob-
lem, but said any other possible changes
to the misfiring line-up he would "leave
to the selectors."
England had been ahead for most of
the game after making 303 in its first
innings and bowling South Africa out for
214, but the tourists stamped a big early
mark on the series in a ruthless spell on
Under bright blue skies, and with no
possibility of rain saving South Africa, Ali
got one to straighten to De Villiers with
the third ball of the day. De Villiers tried
and failed with a TV referral, and after
that early boost, England went on to roll
out three batsmen for two runs at the
start of the fifth day. Counting Faf du
Plessis dismissal late on Tuesday, the
England bowlers went on a rampant run
to take seven South African wickets in the
space of 38 runs.
Ali had Temba Bavuma stumped by
Jonny Bairstow for a duck and Finn bowled
Steyn, smashing a full-pitched ball into
his stumps. Stuart Broad removed Morne
Morkel lbw for 8 to end the game, sealing
England s first win in the opening test of
an away series against a major Test team
since it won the first match of the 2004-
05 series in South Africa. England went
on to win that series.
"It s always nice to start well," Cook
England outplays No 1
South Africa by 241 runs
DURBAN---England pace bowler James Anderson
was "looking good" to play in the second test against
South Africa, captain Alastair Cook said yesterday.
England s leading wicket-taker missed the big win
in the first Test in Durban with a right calf strain,
but appears ready to return to give the tourists another
boost in the Cape Town game starting on Saturday.
Anderson had done a fair amount of practice bowl-
ing under the watch of England s backroom staff,
and Cook said, "We re hopeful."
While England was enjoying positive news, South
Africa was preparing to be without fast bowler Dale
Steyn in the second test, further hampering a strug-
gling team. Steyn strained his right shoulder in the
first Test and is unlikely to recover in time. (AP)
Cook says 'looking
good' for Anderson
to play 2nd Test
DURBAN---South Africa coach Russell Domingo
spoke of the need for his players to try and ignore
the "noise" as the thud of England s big first-Test
win echoes all the way from Durban to Cape Town.
The repercussions for the rest of the four-match
series were so significant that England captain Alastair
Cook was eager to immediately talk about the second
game at Newlands starting this weekend.
"If we can get our noses ahead again, it will be
fantastic," he said. "We ve got an opportunity. Can
we take it?"
England won by a hefty 241 runs in Durban on
yesterday for a rare early series lead in South Africa---
its first in 11 years. But the victory did way more than
just give the tourists the opening salvo.
England exacerbated problems for a top-ranked
South Africa team that s on its way down. Many of
the issues are not easily or quickly solvable.
In attempting to diplomatically avoid a post-match
question about whether the Proteas were in decline
in the post-Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and Mark
Boucher era, England s Cook confirmed that the South
African decline was so.
"It s not for me to talk about the decline," Cook
said. "They ve lost some world-class players...they re
once-in-a-generation players, so they re very hard
to replace in such a short space of time."
England s current crop---even without injured leading
wicket-taker James Anderson---dominated South
Africa to such an extent in Durban that South Africa
may find it hard to recover by the end of this series,
let alone when the second game starts on the other
side of the country in a few days.
It wasn t just the result.
South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn, the bowling
spearhead, is likely out of contention for Cape Town
with a right shoulder problem, just his latest injury.
AB de Villiers, who has said he s struggling with the
amount of work placed on him and was the subject
this week of early retirement rumours, was again
overloaded with batting and wicketkeeping respon-
South Africa s re-shaped batting line-up is severely
struggling, as indicated by captain Hashim Amla: No
half-century in his last 11 innings, and just three scores
over 50 in 19 Test innings since he stepped into the
big boots of former skipper Smith.
"It s a developing team," Amla said. "Hopefully,
the new year could be a turnaround for the South
African team. It s been a very tough Test year for us."
Coach Domingo gave a more frank assessment of
a team that is facing a cacophony of questions over
its recent performances: No wins in seven tests over
the last year.
"There s a lot that went wrong in this game, there s
no doubt about it," Domingo said in Durban. "There s
a lot of questions about the batting line-up, there s
a lot of questions about AB s retirement, about Dale s
injury. So there s a lot going on at the moment." (AP)
Loss caps 'tough
Test year' for SA
the first test
England 1st Innings: 303 all out
South Africa 1st Innings: 214 all out
England 2nd Innings
Alastair Cook lbw b Piedt *7
Alex Hales c Abbott b Piedt *26
Nick Compton c De Villiers b Morkel *49
Joe Root c Van Zyl b Abbott *73
James Taylor st De Villiers b Piedt *42
Ben Stokes c Elgar b Piedt* 5
Jonny Bairstow c Duminy b Van Zyl* 79
Moeen Ali lbw b Piedt *16
Chris Woakes C Duminy b Van Zyl *23
Stuart Broad c De Villiers b Van Zyl* 0
Steven Finn not out *0
Extras (3b, 3lb) *6
TOTAL: (all out) *326
Fall of wickets: 1-13, 2-48, 3-119, 4-192, 5-197, 6-
224, 7-272, 8-315, 9-315, 10-326.
Bowling: Dale Steyn 3.5-0-10-0, Morne Morkel
20.3-5-38-1, Kyle Abbott 21.4-3-62-1, Dane Piedt
36-4-153-5, Dean Elgar 9-0-32-0, Stiaan van Zyl
10.1-3-20-3, J.P. Duminy 1-0-5-0.
South Africa 2nd Innings (target: 416)
Dean Elgar c Root b Finn *40
Stiaan van Zyl b Stokes *33
Hashim Amla c Bairstow b Finn *12
A.B. de Villiers lbw b Ali *37
Faf du Plessis c Cook b Finn *9
Dale Steyn b Finn *2
Temba Bavuma st Bairstow b Ali* 0
J.P. Duminy not out *26
Kyle Abbott lbw b Ali *2
Dane Piedt c Taylor b Woakes *0
Morne Morkel lbw b Broad* 8
Extras (2b, 3lb) *5
TOTAL: (all out) *174
Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-85, 3-88, 4-136, 5-136, 6-
136, 7-138, 8-143, 9-155, 10-174.
Bowling: Stuart Broad 13-5-29-1, Chris Woakes
10-5-25-1, Steven Finn 15-6-42-4, Ben Stokes 7-
1-26-1, Moeen Ali 26-9-47-3.
Umpires: Aleem Dar, Pakistan, and Rod Tucker,
Television umpire: Bruce Oxenford, Australia.
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle, Sri Lanka.
To s s : Won by South Africa.
Result: England won by 241 runs.
England leads four-match series 1-0.
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