Courtesy: Cricinfo.com

After a humiliating Innings defeat inside 3 days at Lord’s last week, the hosts’ Eng paid in the same coin as they inflicted an  Innings defeat to the  Visitors team under 3 days at Old Trafford ground, Manchester played from 25-27 Aug.2022.

The Proteas Captain Dean Elgar after winning the toss did a blunder of choosing to bat in seaming conditions.  They left out the emerging tall and lanky left-arm seamer Mark Jensen and included the off-spinner Simon Harmer.  It was a double blow as the pitch played a true English pitch helping seamers early and the inclusion of the spinner seemed to be redundant in the final analysis.

The senior pro and the local hero Lancashire-born Jimmy Anderson drew the first blood by inducing the left-hand opener Sarel Erwee with a beautiful outswinger only to find the edge of the bat to England’s wicket-keeper, who was very busy behind the wicket during this Test. And a semblance of resistance by the South African skipper Elgar and the diminutive Keegan Peterson was broken by another senior pro the tall and lanky Stuart Broad as Elgar edged an away delivery to a regulation catch in the slip cordons.  And soon there was steady pageantry of the South African batters and they were folded like ninepins under the weight of swing bowling of the English seamers who decimated the Proteas brittle batting line up and they scored a paltry 151 runs in 53 overs as Anderson and Broad claimed 3 wickets apiece.

And when the hosts started their innings in the Test it was pathetic with the first 3 wickets falling under 50 runs before Zak Crawley and Bairstow added a crucial 91 runs for the 4th wicket and the match tilted in favour of the hosts when the England Captain Ben Stokes and gloveman Ben Foakes took the centre stage clobbering all the hapless S.A. bowlers to the hilt and set up a good total with a 173 runs partnership of the 6th wicket as both of them helped the team with a magnificent century.  The England captain who played like a cavalier at Lord’s played here sensibly and was ably supported by the wicket keeper batter Foakes, who scored his 2nd century in Tests.  And when they passed over 400  + runs for 9 wickets, the England captain declared their innings giving his bowlers a little under 10 overs and the SA openers negotiated without losing a wicket.

The third day began on a cautious note by the Proteas but once again the GOAT, Jimmy Anderson bowled a beauty inswinger to the SA captain only to see his stumps cartwheeling bowled through the gates and by lunch they lost 3 wickets.  And then the only bright spot of the SA’s  2nd innings came when Keegan Petersen and Van der Dussen batted cautiously the session between lunch and tea.  Van Der Dussen who was nursing an injury with a broken finger fighting for his spot in the team batted valiantly before the England captain teasing him with an away seamer and the ever vigil England keeper Ben Foakes snapped the thin edge catch nonchalantly and soon Petersen followed him in the next over in a similar fashion as England scented victory. And all the hell broken as the tail could not wag as The tall and agile England seamer Ollie Robinson who was drafted into the side after struggling with fitness issues with the second new ball cleaned the tail with a 4 wicket haul and the visitors meekly surrendered and the hosts handed an Innings defeat to the visitors.

The two BENS caused the havoc in this Test as Ben Stokes who stoked a defining century and 4 wickets and the England keeper Ben Foakes who also scored a century and snapped 7 catches were responsible for England trouncing the Proteas.

And the 3 test series is tantalisingly poised as the Proteas team’s caravan moves to the Oval for the final summit in a week’s time. 

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