The Proteas boast a positive Test record at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth and will hope to keep that intact when they take on England in the third Test. ANDRE HUISAMEN looks at the numbers ahead of Thursday’s start.
The two nations played Test cricket at the venue for the very first time back in 1889. But we take a closer look at the recent history of South Africa in the ‘Friendly City’.
Lost to Sri Lanka – February 2019
Having beaten South Africa in the previous Test in Durban, most people expected the Proteas to strike back but instead Sri Lanka added further insult to a very vulnerable South African cricket set-up, winning the second Test by a staggering eight wickets to clinch the two-match series 2-0.
Beat Australia – March 2018
It was a series that will be remembered for a very long time and the second Test in PE played its fair share in building up that status as the Proteas swung the momentum in their favour with an emphatic six-wicket victory.
The match had everything: AB de Villiers made a decisive century in the first innings but Kagiso Rabada was the main figure in the spotlight.
The seamer took 11 wickets in a man-of-the-match performance but he initially copped a two-match ban for bumping into Steve Smith during his celebration after dismissing the Australian captain in their first innings. The Proteas appealed the sanction, though, and were successful with the ruling being overturned by the ICC.
Beat Zimbabwe – December 2017
It was South Africa’s first ever day-night Test match but Cricket South Africa also experimented by making it a four-day Test. What was meant to act as preparation for the India series at the start of 2017, the match left a bitter taste as it ended in a mere two days – the Proteas destroying their neighbours by an innings and 120 runs with Morne Morkel creating havoc with the pink ball.
Beat Sri Lanka – December 2016
The Proteas got the three-match Test series off to a flying start against the islanders with a resounding 206-run victory. Fast-bowler Vernon Philander carried his excellent form from Australia over to the series and ripped Sri Lanka apart in the first innings with figures of 5-43 in 20 overs.
Opener Stephen Cook then fought to a well-played century as the Proteas set the visitors a total of 487 to win.
Match drawn with the West Indies – December 2014
After cruising to a huge victory in the first Test in Centurion, the Proteas were looking to put the series against the West Indies to bed but in the end not a lot of cricket was played as soaking rain disrupted the majority of the clash.
The Proteas batted first and, thanks to centuries from Dean Elgar and Faf du Plessis, they were able to declare on 417-8.
The West Indies showed some batting resilience as well with Kraigg Brathwaite and Marlon Samuels reaching three figures, but the rest of the side didn’t contribute much as they limped to 275-9 before rain ended proceedings.
Beat Australia – February 2014
Having lost the first Test, the Proteas needed to fight back in order to avoid a series defeat by the Aussies and they did just that, thanks to an excellent batting and bowling display.
De Villiers and JP Duminy set the home side on their way in the first innings with centuries before Dale Steyn did the job with the ball in the second innings. The Proteas ultimately won by 231 runs late on the final day.
Beat New Zealand – January 2013
It was always going to be a tough ask to beat the Proteas Test team of this era in South Africa and, in the end, the Black Caps were annihilated – they lost both their Cape Town and PE Tests by an innings.
Brilliant batting in the first innings, though, at St George’s Park set the South Africans up for an innings and 193-run win as Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and Dean Elgar made tons before a complete bowling performance from Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Rory Kleinveldt and Robin Petersen put New Zealand to the sword.
Photo: Photo: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images