So as England’s off the field problems mounted on their tour of South Africa the two teams headed to Cape Town where England haven’t won since the 1950s. Rory Burns’s football injury had prematurely curtailed his tour so Kent’s Crawley came in to open to double his cap total. This change meant England’s top three batsmen for what probably will be the rest of the tour haven’t scored a test century between them.
In front of a full Newlands Cape Town crowd with a strong English flavour Joe Root won the toss and decided to bat on what looked like fine conditions to make a really big first innings score. Things didn’t go to plan as ever with England’s batters as Crawley having just clipped a nice boundary was caught behind of a full pitched Philander delivery and England were already under the pump.
After Sibley was out after making a good start Denly and Root found themselves at the crease needing to build a partnership in order for England to make the 450+ score that they were aiming for. Against the spin of Maharaj Root was expertly rotating the strike in his typical fashion however Denly found himself getting stuck. This was due to the Kent man planting his foot forward which was affecting his back foot game and eventually his fairly tortuous innings was over as he was bowled back through the gate by the South African spinner.
Things went from bad to worse for England as Root was then bounced out by Nortje at the end of a hostile spell. England’s batsmen throughout the afternoon and evening continued to make starts and get out with only the young Pope converting his start into anything meaningful.
He was left stranded with the tail as a disappointing day for England finished with them nine down. It could have been slightly worse had Rabada not overstepped when he got Pope caught at fine-leg in the dying embers of the day. England will now look for their bowlers to hopefully bail them out as it appears the batsmen have finished well short.
|Z Crawley||c de Kock b Philander||4||15||0||0|
|D P Sibley||c de Kock b Rabada||34||76||7||0|
|J L Denly||b Maharaj||38||130||5||0|
|J E Root||c de Kock b Nortje||35||49||5||0|
|B A Stokes||c Elgar b Nortje||47||77||6||1|
|O J D Pope||61||144||7||0|
|J C Buttler||c de Kock b Pretorius||29||27||4||1|
|S M Curran||b Pretorius||9||13||2||0|
|D M Bess||c de Kock b Philander||0||1||0||0|
|S C J Broad||b Rabada||1||3||0||0|
|J M Anderson||c van der Dussen b Rabada||4||17||0||0|
|Extras||4b 1lb 0 1w 1nb||7|
|Total||for 10||269||91.5 overs|
|V D Philander||16||3||46||2|
|K A Maharaj||27||6||68||1|