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Ken Borland

Rabada the leader with manful efforts with bat and ball 0

Posted on October 12, 2022 by Ken

Kagiso Rabada was the leader of the Proteas with both bat and ball, his manful efforts keeping them in the game after they were bundled out for just 151 on the first day of the second Test against England at Old Trafford on Thursday.

That South Africa, who had won the toss and chosen to bat first, got as far as 151 was largely thanks to Rabada’s doughty innings of 36. He then once again led with the ball as he claimed the key wicket of Joe Root for just 9 as South Africa fought hard with the ball to restrict England to 111/3 at stumps.

As he has done previously, Proteas skipper Dean Elgar backed his batsmen to get through tough early conditions batting first under heavily overcast skies, wanting to bowl last because they have included a second frontline spinner in their XI in Simon Harmer and the pitch does look dry.

But with James Anderson (15-4-32-3) and Stuart Broad (11-1-37-3) leading the way with some wonderfully skilful bowling on a pitch that seamed extravagantly, the Proteas batting failed dismally, and they had crashed to 108/8 before Rabada top-scored and gave the innings the thinnest veneer of respectability.

The gutsy Anrich Nortje provided him with valuable support, scoring 10 in 51 minutes as they added 35 for the ninth wicket, the biggest partnership of the innings.

England were soon ill-placed themselves with the bat as they slipped to 43/3.

The skill and discipline in asking questions just outside off stump of Lungi Ngidi and Rabada took care of Alex Lees (4) and Root, Erwee this time hanging on to a juggling catch in the slips, while Nortje proved again that sheer pace is as valuable as myrrh as he blasted through Ollie Pope’s defences for 23 well-made runs.

But as happened in South Africa’s innings, once the ball lost its shine and became softer, so the movement off the pitch eased. The Proteas bowling also became a bit irregular, conceding 20 extras, and Jonny Bairstow played some marvellous strokes to reach 38 not out off just 45 balls at the close and position himself as the biggest threat on the second day.

Zak Crawley helped him add an unbeaten 68 for the fourth wicket, but the embattled opener was scratchy in scoring just 17 not out off 77 deliveries.

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