The Proteas ensured a winning start to their new management regime and, in the process, their first non-defeat in six attempts as they beat England on Sunday. WADE PRETORIUS rates the players.
DEAN ELGAR – 2/10
A forgettable return to the Test arena for Elgar, who put his side on the back foot following his golden duck in the first innings. Made a decent start in the second dig but was undone by Archer leaving the Proteas at 29-3. No doubt, he will bounce back at Newlands.
AIDEN MARKRAM – 3/10
Looked like a million bucks in the first knock before throwing his wicket away for a quick-fire 20. His two in the second innings was the end of his involvement in the series after succumbing to injury. Questions are starting to form around his ability to convert starts into big scores, but the general consensus is that he has too much talent not to kick on at this level.
ZUBAYR HAMZA – 4/10
Threw his wicket away with a nothing swipe at a Stuart Broad delivery in the first innings (39) and then was another Protea to be strangled down the leg-side when he left for four in the second innings.
FAF DU PLESSIS – 5/10
29 and 20 … not quite the return one is looking for from the team’s No 1 batsman. His shot selection in getting himself out in the second innings must be questioned. His captaincy, though, earns him an extra point particularly with his rotation of the quicks.
RASSIE VAN DER DUSSEN – 5/10
Steady from the debutant, who formed a match-stabilising/winning partnership with Nortje in the second innings. A maiden half-century in the second innings helped clear up any doubt around his position in the team. After a couple of drops, pouched one at slip late on Sunday, too.
QUINTON DE KOCK – 9/10
Will he or won’t he be kicking himself for not getting to three figures in the first dig? Supremely talented batsman who combined runs with his usual effectiveness behind the stumps. Chipped in with 34 in the second innings to help the Proteas extend their advantage.
DWAINE PRETORIUS – 7/10
The numbers are not as flattering but his contribution was key to the win. A wicket in either innings – both at miserly rates – added to his first-innings contribution of 33 helped the South Africans pull themselves to a respectable total.
VERNON PHILANDER – 9/10
Anyone going to join the petition to get Big Vern to reverse his retirement decision? Showed why he’s classed as an all-rounder with his 35 on opening day before taking 4-16 to keep SA in front. Fell just short of a half-century in the second innings before building immense pressure with accurate bowling that kept the visitors from making a fast start on Sunday. Loses out on a 10/10 rating for his second new-ball spell on Sunday when he tried to get the ball to swing a little too much and too early.
KESHAV MAHARAJ – 6/10
Two vital wickets in the second knock, especially in getting Ben Stokes out. His batting continues to improve but his penchant for big shots remains a problem.
KAGISO RABADA – 8/10
Three wickets in the first innings and helped tear England apart in the session after lunch on day four. When he’s firing, there are few who can match him.
ANRICH NORTJE – 9/10
His efforts with the bat – he batted for over two hours for his 40 as a nightwatchman – threatened to be his highlight of his Test. Twice broke partnerships as he turned into something of a ‘golden arm’ en route to victory. Was bowling fast throughout but, on Sunday, showed his precision which turned him into a main wicket-taking option.