An intriguing fluctuating series between two sides that blended brilliance with fallibility in a compelling if curious cricketing cocktail had already been decided so expectant crowds flocked to The Oval largely to made a History. Cricket fans who want to watch the live-action of England Vs South Africa series can get England Vs South Africa Tickets from our most trusted and reliable online platform.
Day one may not have seen the Alastair Cook farewell hundred that some had predicted was written in the stars the stars it transpired had an even better story written in them there are quadrillions of stars everything that has ever happened is written in them if you look at them in the right way even Hashan Tillakaratne scoring 17 off 61 balls in his final Test innings in 2004.
However, it did give the history-hungry spectators the consolation of seeing England reach 128 for 1 after 60 overs the lowest 60-over opening-innings score by a team that has lost fewer than two wickets since 2003 and the second-lowest such score in an innings since 2005.
The third England player to make three ducks in a home series batting in the top seven after Graeme Hick against West Indies in 2000 and Ben Stokes in the 2015 Ashes both of which were also victorious series for England suggesting there was a scientific backroom method behind the splattering stumps.
The fifth player to be bowled out six times in an English Test summer after Ted Dexter in 1960 and Wilfred Rhodes, and South Africa’s Aubrey Faulkner and Tip Snooker in the Triangular summer of 1912.
On days two to four Virat Kohli needing seven runs with two dismissals in hand to reach 600 for the series and become the second player after Don Bradman to reach that total four times in his career proceeded to edge two successive balls in the corridor of temptation.
The second was a fatigued poke after a six-week series of dedication brilliance and restraint. It was followed by an eight-hour marathon session of futile fielding as England slowly cranked their superiority followed by approximately 14.7 seconds of quality downtime while Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara blunted the new ball with their pads.
Nevertheless, the noisy Indian support could celebrate their skipper instead of becoming the third batsman after Bradman and Garry Sobers to score 593 or more in four or more different series. A stat is a stat even if it is the frayed remnant of another imploded stat.
How The Oval cheered as it watched both teams put on a double-century stand in the second innings of a Test for only the second time ever the previous instance was South Africa v India Johannesburg 2013-14 I prayed last night a teary-eyed father chirruped to his wonderstruck children that you would see this stat come true.
And also my darlings that you would see England’s first 200 partnerships in the second innings of a home Test since 1998 when of course, Mike Atherton and Alec Stewart added 226 for the third wicket at Old Trafford against South Africa.
The improvement away from home has been considerably less marked. Central contracts have brought England six winning winters out of 18 with two even and ten losing. From 1983-84 to 1999-2000 they had four winning winters 12 losing out of 16 they played no Tests in 1988-89.
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