South Africa’s resilience on the final day wasn’t enough as England won the second Test at Newlands in Cape Town by 189 runs to level the four-match series 1-1.
Prior to this defeat, South Africa had lost only four Test matches at Newlands and all of them have been against Australia, but England’s better showing with the bat proved to be the ultimate difference in the end.
Ollie Pope’s crucial contribution in the first innings certainly led to an early advantage for England after the Proteas looked on top for the most of day one.
The Proteas were always going to be on the back foot after being dismissed for 43 runs less than England in their first innings.
While Dom Sibley’s ton and Ben Stokes’ 72 in the second innings ultimately took the game away from South Africa, and it was going to take something special to chase 438 or bat out the whole of the final day with the hope of salvaging a draw.
James Anderson got the ball rolling early on Tuesday morning, getting rid of nightwatchman Keshav Maharaj before Faf du Plessis lost patience while facing Dom Bess as he opted for a sweep shot which was taken at square leg by Joe Denly for 19.
Pieter Malan’s valiant effort of 84 also ended shortly after the lunch break when a superb spell by Sam Curran had him caught at second slip by Stokes.
Rassie van der Dussen and Quinton de Kock then did extremely well to get to tea without losing a further wicket as they brought up a 50-run partnership.
But De Kock also made a poor shot selection against Denly, just after getting his half-century when he tried to go big against the spinner, only to pick out Zak Crawley at midwicket.
Local boy Vernon Philander strolled out to the middle for the final time at Newlands as he tried to block as much deliveries as possible with Van der Dussen at the other end.
Van der Dussen then also made a very poor shot selection as he played from his legs down leg gully’s throat after Stuart Broad decided to come around the wicket to the right-hander.
Dwaine Pretorius was the new man in but he never looked comfortable against Ben Stokes, who was steaming in from the Wynberg end, nicking a straight one to Joe Root at first slip.
The writing was firmly on the wall when Anrich Nortje was gone first ball after Stokes also found the edge of his bat where Crawley took a sharp catch – at the second grab at third slip this time.
Kagiso Rabada managed to prevent Stokes from claiming a hat-trick, but it was all over when the Englishman got Philander out after he failed to deal with a shorter delivery, the catch taken by Pope as England sealed the victory.
South Africa: Pieter Malan, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Faf du Plessis (c), Rassie van der Dussen, Quinton de Kock (wk), Dwaine Pretorius, Vernon Philander, Keshav Maharaj, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje.
England: Dominic Sibley, Zak Crawley, Joe Denly, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.