The Proteas took the match deep but ultimately did not have enough to contain the English threat at Newlands. WADE PRETORIUS rates the players.
DEAN ELGAR – 6
The numbers will show 88 and 34 (the latter coming in controversial fashion after his did-he-or-didn’t-he nick) but the truth is his ill-timed slog in the first knock was a major reason why the English were allowed to move well ahead at Newlands. He called it a ‘brain fart’, others on social media were less complimentary … regardless, it was a telling moment that in which this Test slipped from local hands.
PIETER MALAN – 8
Played at one he had no business with in his first innings, but showed immense character and ability in his second dig to help the Proteas along in their defiance. The rest of the series will go a long way to deciding just how suited Malan is to solving the riddle at the top of the order.
ZUBAYR HAMZA – 3
Scores of 5 and 18. Looks a decent player but needs to put some runs under his belt or risk getting put back into the franchise system. Maybe he will have learned a lot from watching Malan’s dogged determination to play a real Test innings?
FAF DU PLESSIS – 2
Harsh rating or fair? Scored 1 and 19 with the second stay being criminally cut short after a thoughtless stroke. His captaincy was woeful … how on earth he opted to bowl Maharaj and Pretorius to a new Stokes at the beginning of day four continues to baffle. Did we mention how dumbstruck we are at his dismissal on day five?
RASSIE VAN DER DUSSEN – 6
He may have rode his luck in the first (68) but showed his appetite for the fight in the second (17 off 140 balls in over three hours). Penalised for the manner of his dismissals, particularly in the second innings.
QUINTON DE KOCK – 5
Part of the ‘brain fart’ band of this match in getting out to Denly when set. Beyond that, he remains our No 1 batsman by some distance.
VERNON PHILANDER – 4
Off his best on his home-turf farewell with just two wickets in the match. Showed some curious tactics when trying to prolong the South Africans’ first effort with the bat.
DWAINE PRETORIUS – 4
Didn’t contribute with the bat and did his bowling job well enough, but there will be questions about his role in the side. Not a big enough wicket-taking threat when you need 20 wickets to win a Test match. Watch his contributions with great interest.
KESHAV MAHARAJ – 4
Not his best outing as he had very little success bowling into the rough outside the right-handers’ leg-stump. Has done enough since entering the arena to foster belief he will bounce back.
ANRICH NORTJE – 8
What’s not to like about the big fast bowler? Did his job and then some as he held the attack together with furious determination and pace.
KAGISO RABADA – 4
Another senior player – he may be young but he sure is the new leader of the attack with Philander on his farewell tour – who failed to deliver. Seems to be lacking his spark. Maybe he needs to get angry to get back to his best?
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