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December 30, 2019

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South Africa beats England by 107 runs to win 1st test

South Africa swept to a 107-run victory over England on the fourth day of the first test at Centurion Park in Pretoria yesterday after taking seven wickets in the second session to go ahead in the four-match series.

England, needing an improbable 376 to win, was bowled out for 268 just before tea as its bottom order offered scant resistance to a barrage of pace once South Africa had taken the second new ball. Kagiso Rabada proved the destroyer-in-chief with 4-103, assisted by Anrich Nortje, who took three wickets for 56 runs. The turning point proved the key wickets of both England captain Joe Root and potential match-winner Ben Stokes, whose presence at the crease at lunch still offered England the chance of a dramatic win. Stokes, who had led England’s highest ever successful run chase when it scored 362-9 at Headingley to beat Australia earlier this year, was bowled by spinner Keshav Maharaj for 14 just as he and Root were increasing the run rate after England had gone to lunch on 171-3. The second new ball then accounted for Jonny Bairstow, who hit a boundary off Rabada before edging the second delivery of the 81st over to gully, where Zubayr Hamza took a sharp catch. Root battled his way to 48 before being caught behind, effectively ending England’s hopes. The teams now move onto Cape Town for the second test at Newlands on January 3-7.


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