Key plays of the day: England bowlers seize the advantage
England’s bowlers seized the advantage late on day two of the second Test, with 5 wickets for 58 runs on Saturday. Let’s look at the key plays of the day at Newlands.
England’s bowlers wrested the initiative late on day two of the second Test, with 5 wickets for 58 runs on Saturday, though for most of the day they struggled to break a Dean Elgar and Rassie van der Dussen partnership of 117 runs.
Let’s look at the key plays of day two in this second Test.
Faf du Plessis is caught at slip by Ben Stokes for 1. Stuart Broad with the wicket of the South African captain, which turned a poor start (the loss of Pieter Malan and Zubayr Hamza) into a troubled start. They were 40/3 in the 14th over.
Van der Dussen survives an LBW decision in the 20th over that went against him on the field. Video replays showed he got an inside edge onto his pads. It was to set the tone for the rest of his innings - a series of near misses, and lucky escapes.
Van der Dussen is caught on 16 in the 28th over off the bowling of Broad. RVD starts to walk off, but a check reveals that Broad has no-balled and the batsman survives again.
Van der Dussen lived a charmed life, dropped on 43 by Ben Stokes in the slips in the 46th over. Anderson found the edge. Stokes initially caught it with one hand, but as soon as his elbow hit the ground, the ball popped out. A lifeline for Van der Dussen and he was able to bring up his second half-century in as many innings.
Dom Bess’s perseverance and Joe Root’s faith in the young spinner paid off in the 63rd over with the wicket of Dean Elgar, who was looking good for another Test century but lofted the ball to Root at mid-off. It broke the stubborn partnership between Elgar and Van der Dussen.
Sam Curran’s late spell of bowling got the crucial wickets of Quinton de Kock and RVD in the 72nd and 76th overs respectively. They were key wickets to fall given what QDK and RVD are capable of. They could have piled on more runs late in the day, but as it turned out, it was the start of a collapse in the lower middle order.