England Bounce Back in Convincing Fashion

By  //  September 12, 2022

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

Having lost in such emphatic fashion in their first match-up against South Africa at Lord’s, the men’s England cricket team were under immense pressure to return to their phenomenal form when they took on the Proteas in the second test at Old Trafford last week.

Their aggressive style of play and ultimate success had dominated much of the sport’s national media coverage in the lead-up to their three-test series against South Africa – with many expecting the touring side to succumb to the same fate that New Zealand and India had experienced earlier in the summer. The bookies agreed with that sentiment, as England entered the series as the prohibitive online betting favourites.

The visitors had a different idea however, as they sent a young and supremely confident outfit with the talent to match – particularly with ball in hand. After the Proteas won the first test comfortably by an innings and 12 runs, it was the first time that the recently appointed England captain Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum had encountered adversity in their short tenures at the helm. They answered the call, flipping the script to thrash South Africa in the second test by an innings and 85 runs – doing so inside three days. 

After winning the toss and electing to bat, the South Africans got off to a less than stellar start after their opening batsmen Sarel Erwee and Dean Elgar combined for just 36 runs. South Africa struggled to contend with the English seamers’ swing and pinpoint lines, with both their top and middle-order batsmen capitulating in the overcast conditions. It was England’s old guard who starred with the ball, as James Anderson and Stuart Broad led the wicket takers with three apiece. 

The away team’s performance at the crease was a far cry from the showing they had put forth just a week prior – as they were bowled out for a disappointing score of 149.

Subsequent to their dominant display in the field, the home side continued to build on their lead with the bat. With some solid scores courtesy of Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow kickstarting their first innings, middle-order batsmen Stokes and Ben Foakes took it to another level, as both notched up centuries to set a formidable total of 415 at the time of their declaration.

With their tails up and a victory needed to keep their chances of winning the series alive, England put their foot on the gas in the second innings to thwart any likelihood of a comeback. They bowled their opponents out for just 159 runs, thus securing the win. 

Anderson took another four wickets with the ball – and in doing so – created yet more history in a career that consists of a laundry list of eye-popping accomplishments. His wicket of Simon Harmer ensured he surpassed Australian great Glenn McGrath’s record of 949 wickets across all three formats of the game.

While their win ties up the series at a game apiece, the huge swing in momentum puts the home side in the box seat to take out the series in the decisive third test at The Oval. If they can return to London and win another series under McCullum, it will bode well for their upcoming winter tours of Pakistan and New Zealand.

For those who may have some free betting tips they’d like to use online, England head into the decider as 4/5 favourites, while the Proteas are outsiders at 23/10.