Morne Morkel’s symmetrical wickets to remove Alastair Cook and Tom Westley gave the Proteas a sniff in the morning session, and that’s our Play of the Day.
Is Morne Morkel bowling better than he’s ever done before in his Test career? There’s certainly a case for it.
He’s spent the majority of his Test career playing in the shadow of Dale Steyn, with his short-pitched deliveries over the years playing an effective role in unsettling the batsmen without reflection in the wickets column. Now, leading the line in the absence of the likes of Steyn and Vernon Philander, Morkel is the one the Proteas have been relying on for the wickets.
And that’s because he’s bowling full, fast and accurately, and the results are showing, despite luck going against him on numerous occasions. Chances have been spilt off his bowling in this Test, but there were no problems in the gully in the morning session on day three.
The left-handed Cook flashed at one which was slightly wide, but he could only send it to Theunis de Bruyn at gully for Cook to depart for 10. An almost identical dismissal followed, but this time it was to right-hander Westley, who offered a chance to substitute fielder Aiden Markram in the same position at gully, for Westley to walk back for nine.
30-2 then became 72-4 and the Proteas were given a sniff of turning things around. Unfortunately, England are now on 224-8 and boast a 360-run lead, which will require record-breaking efforts from the South Africans to draw the series. But it’s no fault of Morkel’s.
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