Rabada rips through England

January 24, 2016
Kagiso Rabada Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada took his second Test five-for to reduce England to 211-6 at lunch on day three at Centurion.

What a performance by South Africa in the second hour of the first session. They began the day indifferently, battling to pressure Alastair Cook and Joe Root into making any mistakes. But then, in the space of 60 explosive minutes, they claimed four big wickets to strengthen their hold on the contest.

Cook and Root looked dangerous and the Proteas appeared devoid of ideas. AB de Villiers opted to begin proceedings with Kyle Abbott and Rabada rather than Morkel, his premier fast bowler. Abbott and Rabada struggled to hit the right areas with any great consistency, and came in for some punishment inside that first hour.

Without warning, Morkel then produced the delivery of the morning to dismiss Cook. The ball bounced more than Cook expected, and caught the outside edge of his bat. It was the kind of delivery needed to remove Cook, who was looking well set at that stage.

Following the departure of the England skipper, the Proteas grew in confidence. They bowled with more control and the pressure began to tell on the visitors.

Rabada tempted Root to play at a delivery outside off-stump, and Quinton de Kock pouched his second catch of the morning. Rabada and De Kock combined again to dismiss James Taylor, who found the edge while attempting to pull the delivery through mid-wicket.

Rabada added another to his tally when he had Jonny Bairstow caught behind on the stroke of lunch. This ensured that the 20-year-old bagged his second five-for in Test cricket. At present, Rabada has his best figures (5-76). He claimed 5-78 in the first innings of the previous match at the Wanderers.

England currently trail South Africa by 264 runs with only four first innings wickets in hand. They will need to play out of their skins in the next session if they are going to get back into this contest.

For ball-by-ball commentary, click below:

SA 1st innings 475 – Quinton de Kock 129 not out, Stephen Cook 115, Hashim Amla 109, Ben Stokes 4-86
England 1st innings 211-6– Alastair Cook 76, Joe Root 76, Kagiso Rabada 5-76, Morné Morkel 1-40
England trail by 264 runs

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