England registered a win by an innings and 85 runs to draw level in the series and pull South Africa down from the top of the ICC World Test Championship standings.
England bowlers were on the money from the word go and hardly gave any lose deliveries to South Africa to capitalise on. The persistent pressure eventually brought about the downfall of Dean Elgar, who had his off-stump uprooted by a peach of a delivery from James Anderson.
Sarel Erwee followed his captain back into the pavilion with Ollie Robinson inducing the edge into the safe hands of Ben Foakes.
Stuart Broad rattled the stumps of Aiden Markram, only for the third umpire to rule it a no-ball. Markram’s lifeline lasted less than two overs as Broad had the last laugh, luring the Proteas batter with a wide one.
Rassie van der Dussen and Keegan Petersen batted with caution thereafter to ensure South Africa did not lose any more wickets in the morning session.
South Africa stalled England’s charge with the promising stand after the break. Petersen and van der Dussen put on 87 runs for the fourth wicket as England kept searching for wickets till the tea break.
The partnership had given South Africa a glimmer of hope, but Player of the Match Ben Stokes returned to take two quick wickets after tea, sending back van der Dussen and Petersen off successive overs to turn the game firmly in England’s direction.
Anderson added another feather to his cap, picking up the wicket of Simon Harmer to go past Glenn McGrath as the fast bowler with most wickets at the international level. It was Anderson’s 950th international wicket, a tally he would go on to better by one at the end of the day to help England seal an innings win.
Anderson is five wickets away from matching Anil Kumble’s tally and will then have only Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan ahead of him, both of whom have over 1000 scalps.
South Africa had affirmed their position at the top of the WTC table after their win at Lord’s, but an innings defeat here has reduced their win percentage to 66.67%, below that of Australia’s 70%.
Sri Lanka are third with 53.33%, but South Africa will hope to seal a win in the next Test to ensure they are on course to reach the ICC World Test Championship final next year in England.