The First test between hosts England and South Africa was contested at Lords Cricket Ground. New Captain Joe Root won the toss and opted to bat first on a surface that looked drier than usual surfaces witnessed at the ground. South African bowlers started Day 3 as they took last eight wickets for over 100 runs to see England post 331 runs on the board. The surface also played a key role as Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj bowled well on a strip that started to produce variable bounce.
James Anderson struck early as Heino Kuhn was taken by Jonny Bairstow down the leg side. Dean Elgar played well in the first innings and could not replicate his efforts as he offered a simple caught and bowled opportunity to Moeen Ali to see South Africa lose both their openers. Hashim Amla was trapped leg before by a superb delivery from left-arm spinner Liam Dawson and JP Duminy failed again to raise eyebrows on his future in the format for the side. Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma also got starts and failed to showcase form of dogged resistance seen from the duo in the past one year.
Moeen Ali grabbed six wickets in the second innings to record his career-best figures with the ball in hand. England also managed to break their duck at Lords against South Africa as visitors were not beaten by the hosts since readmission in 1992 at the venue.
England could possibly say that Joe Root’s superb 190 runs was the difference between the two teams. Root had slick of luck going his way early on as he dropped by JP Duminy in the gully. He went on to pay South Africa for their errors as England compiled 458 runs in the first session to control the game for the next three days.
Moeen Ali played well as he added 177 runs with Root to take the game from South Africa. South Africa top order failed to contribute except Dean Elgar’s half century in the first innings. Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander chipped in with crucial knocks to see South Africa score 361 runs.
For England, Alastair Cook and Jonny Bairstow were the only one who stood out with the bat in the second innings to see the hosts get dismissed for 233 runs to setup a target of 331 runs for South Africa. The fourth day of the Test match saw a procession of wickets as 19 of them fell to see England clinch a massive 211-run victory over South Africa and take 1-0 in the four-match Test series.
The second test match of the series will be played at Trent Bridge, Nottingham as Faf du Plessis has returned to England and will lead South Africa for the clash that begins on Friday.