Kagiso Rabada took his second five-wicket haul of the match to rout England’s batting on the final morning of the Test series at SuperSport Park on Tuesday morning. The England innings lasted only a further 13.4 overs as they were dismissed for 101 runs with the last seven wickets falling for 49 runs. It gave South Africa victory by 280 runs although England take the series 2-1 and thus regain the Basil d’Oliveira Trophy for the first time in eight years.
Rabada’s second innings return of 6/32 gave him a match return of 13/144 which is the second best in South Africa’s Test history – Makhaya Ntini took 13/132 against the West Indies at Port of Spain in 2005 – and is South Africa’s best return against England, beating Hugh Tayfield’s 13/192 at the Wanderers Stadium in the 1956/57 season. Rabada now has three five-wicket hauls and one 10-wicket haul after six Test matches in which he has taken 24 wickets in all . This is exactly the same number of wickets as Dale Steyn took in his first six Test matches.
Even allowing for the fact that the match was going to lack the normal intensity from England with the series already decided, this match can be seen as the start of a new era in South African Test cricket with Stephen Cook, Temba Bavuma, Quinton De Kock and Rabada all making strong statements. De Kock seems the best option to become a number six all-rounder with Bavuma to slot in at five. Remarkably in a series dominated by England, the Proteas produced both the leading runs scorer, Hashim Amla, and the leading wicket-taker, Rababa, in the series.
Rabada finished with 22 wickets after playing in only three matches. Ben Stokes was named Man of the Series.
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