Morné Morkel’s two-wicket spell which sparked England’s second-innings collapse is the Play of the Day.
Morkel, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada, and Keshav Maharaj all deserve credit for their respective performances in the first session on day four at Lord’s. The Proteas attack fired as a unit to claim seven wickets for 63 runs during that period.
Morkel, however, should be remembered as the bowler who sparked the blaze. The South African spearhead bowled quickly and aggressively, and was eventually rewarded with the wickets of Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance.
That double breakthrough brought two new men to the crease, and the Proteas did well to maintain the pressure and dismiss Joe Root and Ben Stokes in relatively quick succession. Maharaj made excellent use of the spin-friendly conditions and finished the innings with 4-85.
Morkel took 4-115 in the first innings and 3-64 in the second. If not for his two-wicket spell early on day four, South Africa may not have restricted England to a lead of 330 and been in a position to compete for a result.
The Proteas’ poor batting performance in the second innings should not detract from the bowling heroics of Morkel and company.
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