Morne Morkel’s double dismissal of Alastair Cook in the third Test means that no other bowler has dismissed him more times in his career.
The 32-year-old Morkel has grown into his role as the senior bowler in the side and used his experience to topple England’s ex-captain for the 11th time in his 143-match Test career.
Their battle began back in 2008 in the speedster’s first ever Test against England. Morkel took Cook’s scalp for the first time in a draw at Lord’s, as he banged in a short delivery which beat him for pace, resulting in him skying the ball straight into the safe hands of AB de Villiers at slip.
In the first innings of the second Test at Leeds, Morkel had Cook’s number once again, this time in a more controversial manner. A misdirected delivery down the leg side appeared to have taken a nick off Cook’s bat and umpire Billy Bowden took his time to lift his crooked finger. Replays suggested that the ball clipped the thigh pad on the way through, but Cook made his way back to the pavilion, as the start of a rivalry began.
Morkel has opened the bowling with Vernon Philander in this year’s Test series and is currently the leading wicket-taker out of all the SA seamers. He’s taken 13 wickets in six innings at an average of 28.30 and has dismissed Cook three times, once in the first Test defeat at Lord’s and twice in the third Test defeat at The Oval.
The sea-saw battle between the sides will put the two up against each other once again in a series-saving match for the Proteas at Old Trafford, as South Africa look to level the series 2-2 and avoid an away defeat.
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