Chris Morris’s yorker to uproot Joe Root’s off-stump is our Play of the Day.
Of all the big changes to the Proteas side that lost by 211 runs at Lord’s last week, perhaps the decision to bring in an extra seamer at the expense of a batsman was the boldest, and it just happened to be the most successful.
Morris, largely untested at Test level and somewhat of a gamble considering it moved Vernon Philander up to No 7, was met with a bit of doubt. But the pair proved there was nothing to fret about. Not only did Philander score an excellent – and important – 54 and 42, but both Morris and Philander produced the goods with the ball.
Morris took a while to get going, but took a lot of confidence from wrapping up the tail in England’s first innings to seal figures of 3-38. He was simply superb in the second innings, with the speedometers measuring him as the fastest bowler in the match, and backing that up with a series of nasty short balls that proved the demise of two of England’s best and most experienced batsmen.
It was his short-pitched bowling that deceived Root. The last thing the England skipper was expecting was a yorker, with the Proteas bowling attack reluctant to include that in their armoury at the best of times. But this one swung away late, prompting Root to go down the wrong line. The result was that it clattered the off-stump, and Root had to walk for eight.
Then Morris had Alastair Cook, as one of his short balls zipped off the surface enough to rush Cook. The former England skipper was late in his attempt to swat it away, and he gloved it behind which was then taken in fine fashion from Quinton de Kock.
Morris took 2-7 from the six overs he bowled, and finished with match figures of 5-45. This could be the beginning of a new balance to the Proteas lineup, where they include an extra seamer and an all-rounder at No 7, with or without Morris.
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