• Morkel has Cook’s number

    Morne Morkel’s delivery to bowl Alastair Cook is our Play of the Day.

    England might be on top in the third Test against the Proteas at The Oval, but one thing doesn’t change: Morne Morkel seeing off Alastair Cook.

    Cook’s record against the Proteas isn’t the best by his standards, averaging just a shade over 35. In the 34 innings he’s played against them, 11 of them have been ended by Morkel, whose pace and height is clearly a sticky issue for the experienced left-hander.

    Morkel is known more for the bounce that he manages to produce on pacey pitches, but the 32-year-old decided to bowl a bit fuller on day three, and it paid off with the wicket of Cook. The delivery to get him out was an uncomfortable length which confused Cook as to whether to play back or forward. Morkel got it to move off the surface ever so slightly, and the result was that it clipped Cook’s off-stump.

    You can’t get too much better than that, and at the time it was a vital breakthrough to see off the former skipper for seven. No player has dismissed Cook more than Morkel, in what was a record-extending 11th dismissal.

    Morkel bowled well throughout the day but it didn’t yield any more wickets, as England got to 74-1 by the time rain ruined the rest of the day, with England leading by 252 runs.


    Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Post by

    Tom Sizeland