Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

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Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 24 Dec 2015, 8:56 am

First topic message reminder :

Jimmy Anderson officially out, Woakes and Finn expected to be named with Jordan, footitt and ballance missing out.

Joe Root missing training today due to an upset stomach, but should be ok for day one
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:03 pm

An appeal more in hope than expectation seemingly.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:05 pm

Steyn comes back for 3 balls and goes off again. Suspect he may be in trouble for the next test.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Duty281 on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:06 pm

That as maybe, but scoring at under 2 an over is inviting South African pressure.

This is the perfect time to put South Africa firmly on the defensive. I'm not asking for some T20 slog, just a positive rate of 3-4 an over.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:08 pm

Steyn now going off injured mid way through an over. With only 2 pace men and an inexperienced spinner left out there as the frontline bowling options, that's certainly bad news for South Africa. Elgar might be earning his corn with bat and ball today.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:10 pm

Its hard to build pressure when you have 100 runs to play with before you start looking at whats going to be really tough to get in the 4th Innings.

And now with Steyn down you can afford to wait for SA to turn to some of their lesser bowlers.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:11 pm

Also from a personal perspective, we know Compton is a grinder, but theres probably a lot of personal nerves for Hales, having not got a score in warmups and failing in the first innings.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by JDizzle on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:26 pm

Have SA been a bit naughty here?

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:26 pm

Hales deserved that, hasn't moved the game on at all, play your natural game or go back to being a two bit one day player.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by JDizzle on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:27 pm

And a shame for Hales, never looked entirely comfortable but he'll have wanted to go on. Should give him some confidence for T2 though, he can play the quicks.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by alfie on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:27 pm

GSC wrote:Hales seems somewhat restrained outside of T20s for England. You'd like to see him go after Piedt here.

Well , he did... And he's gone .

Suppose you can say they needed to be positive ; but I do rather see that as a waste of a good start for Hales.

Suppose some will blame Compton for being too passive Smile

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by JDizzle on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:32 pm

SA desperate to keep Compton in here.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by alfie on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:36 pm

At least , as JD says , Hales showed some ability to weather the new ball (though only limited Steyn). Should help his confidence for Test two.
England just need to play [i]sensible cricket[[i] here. There is no great hurry - they are already 140 on , SA are missing their main man , and two days left after this one. Surely the aim is simply to get 300 odd ahead tomorrow sometime and bowl their opponents out over the last day and some ? The only way they can lose this is getting caught between over-cautious defence and crazy aggression.
You'd imagine Root and Taylor at least will have a handle on this.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:43 pm

Wear them down now, cash in when they get tired without Steyn later
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:45 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Olly's main man Woakes adds juggling to his skills set but holds it in the end. We needed that!

A fourfer now for his other man Moeen. I wasn't sure if Olly was serious about tipping him as the leading wicket taker for the series but guess he was and, in any case, never thought it a ridiculous shout. If Moeen can keep something of a lid on things, he'll get plenty of overs and, as we well know, he's got the knack of regularly picking up wickets.

211/8 now and new ball almost due. Be very good to wrap up these last two wickets quickly. A lead of 70 to 80 looks realistic from here and should be very valuable. I thought it would be more like 30 to 40 last night.

Dead serious 're: Moeen Guildford - a combination of the extra bounce you get usually in SA coupled with the way they played spin against India, I think he's on for a good tour
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by alfie on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 12:54 pm

Olly wrote:Wear them down now, cash in when they get tired without Steyn later

That's what I'd do. Obviously you look to score - total passivity on a wearing pitch invites trouble - but no need to go taking risks to boost the scoring rate this evening . I would be perfectly happy with a lead of 230 or so at stumps , as long as there were still seven or eight wickets in hand.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 1:02 pm

It's not about taking risks and it shouldn't be down to Root and Taylor to inject some imperus all the time.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by alfie on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 1:23 pm

Well , Root and Taylor are both "busy" players ; so they are naturally going to be more likely to advance the score without taking unnecessary risks...
Compton is a grafter . I am pleased to see him playing a few more shots now ; but for him to forsake his natural game when there is no real need to hurry would seem rather silly. As several have said , he just needs to turn the strike over a bit more.

Piedt hasn't bowled too badly here : he is making England work for their runs.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 1:27 pm

Compton reminds me too much of Hussein and Atherton, hanging around but going nowhere, I do not want to see the team revert back to the dark days of the mid to late 90's.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Duty281 on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 1:30 pm

England can win the game in this session. Get the lead past 250 by stumps, then make hay against a beleaguered opposition in the morning.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by alfie on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 1:43 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Compton reminds me too much of Hussein and Atherton, hanging around but going nowhere, I do not want to see the team revert back to the dark days of the mid to late 90's.

Indeed it is his limited run rate that has held him back...but given that the others tried in the top order recently have been rather consistently unsuccessful ; and that other than him only two players in this match have passed fifty so far - I would say he hasn't done too bad a job for England here.

Whether he will be a long term player remains to be seen. But right now he is working well as a combination with Root...

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Duty281 on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 2:06 pm

Compton is on 42 off 96 here. Once again he has stabilised England after Cook departed early, and he's knocking it about at a rate of just under 3 an over.

He's had a brilliant Test. Any criticism of him is absurd.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 2:07 pm

Agree with Alfie that we obviously don't want total passivity but I'm not too concerned about the run rate. Still 2 days left after this one. Ample time for there to be a positive result.

If we can get after Piedt, certainly do so. With him hit out of the attack and with Steyn suffering, SA would be in a deep hole. However, no need for wild aggression even if that means Piedt stays on. The really important thing now is to keep the scoreboard ticking and keep some wickets in hand.

My initial target for our second innings total is 220 which would leave SA needing to score 310 to win. That would be the highest innings score of this match - whatever the circumstances, always hard to do that in the final dig. Feel it would be especially so on this track.

A few more than 220 with a bit of a blitz towards the end of our innings would clearly be better still but I don't want to be greedy at this stage. Actually believe SA will fall some way short of 310 anyway but prefer not to be chewing on my nails at all.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 2:44 pm

England in command here. Effectively, 219 for 3 and two days left to play with South Africa without their chief strike bowler and a batting line-up short on confidence. This is a golden chance for England to go 1-0 up.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 2:51 pm

Route map for England from here would be to bat through until the middle of tomorrow and either declare or be bowled out for around 300. That would be a very tough ask for South Africa. England would hope to have South Africa at around 100 for 4 at close tomorrow.

For South Africa they would hope to bowl England out by lunch tomorrow for less than 200 and be left to chase less than 300 to win. From there they would look to reach close tomorrow no worse than around 150 for 2 (or 3 at very most).
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by alfie on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 3:13 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:England in command here. Effectively, 219 for 3 and two days left to play with South Africa without their chief strike bowler and a batting line-up short on confidence. This is a golden chance for England to go 1-0 up.

Would be disappointed if they don't , from this position. Unless the pitch suddenly becomes totally bland batting on day five should be tricky to say the least with the bounce variation ; and England are well placed to set them a long time to bat...

Fifty for Root clap He's had to deal with some valiant effort from Morkel , and scoring hasn't been easy ; but he is once again showing just what a good player he is.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 3:21 pm

Root really is a class act. Already I would say he is one of the best England batsmen I can recall in my lifetime.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Duty281 on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 3:23 pm

The last time England won the first Test of a series overseas (other than in Bangladesh) was more than ten years ago... in South Africa 2004-05.

Thanks, Cricinfo.

103/1 in this session so far - brilliant by Root; the best in the world, and only 25 (in a couple of days).

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by alfie on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 3:32 pm

Near perfect day for England. Still got to do the job with the ball again ; but they are in the ideal position tonight to dictate tomorrow against a depleted SA attack. Just a question of how big a lead they want ?

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 3:45 pm

Sorry to edge in on the Joe Root love in, but I thought he looked tense and nervous out there and was rather lucky that ABV decided to take the lead in the "Whose the worst keeper" competition.

Really good position though, with the ball keeping low and turning of the wicket. Broad's cutters could be seen at some point?

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by kingraf on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 3:49 pm

Well thats as poor a day as we've had recently. 77-6 with the bat and 170-3 with the ball. Don't know when England will declare but I'd still back us to put up a fight going for a draw. Even if nothing else we're pretty good at backs to the wall cricket.

As for the team... its all problematic. Steyn is down and even if he wasn't he's averaging 80mph. Kyle Abbott had to be picked because he took a fiver in India but God is my witness I don't understand his calling card. Just seems a stock standard bowler. I felt the same during the world cup mind you and couldn't understand the hoopla over picking him. Rabada will probably come in for Steyn. Russouw will be sniffing cap if Stiaan van Zyl fails again. But I wouldn't be so quick to discard Stiaan. He bowls decent medium pace and could fulfill a Shane Watson role lower down. So I'd drop Duminy who was dismissed by a pretty standard ball which Elgar had been smothering the whole day... and bring in Stephen Cook. With Stiaan batting at seven.

So for Newlands I'd go
Cook
Elgar
Faf / Russouw
Amla
ABDV
Bavuma
Van Zyl
Rabada
Morkel
Abbott
Piedt

But I'd probably drop Abbott for Viljoen who's on fire at the domestic circuit. Gives us Rabada Morkel Viljoen three 90mph bruisers. Then you've got Faf who has got to be at risk. Especially since Quinny just scored a good fifty for SA A and backed it up with a rock star 100 yesterday.

Feels like a team in transition. This might be Steyn's swansong. This really should be Duminy end. But I'm optimistic
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by guildfordbat on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 3:50 pm

Particularly for King Carlos - once more, day 3 proves to be moving day. I thought England had a small advantage at the end of play yesterday. Now it's a very sizeable advantage. With a lead now in excess of 260, we may have enough already. Another 50 and we almost certainly will have. We should be able to go on a fair bit further than that as well.

Excellent showing by England. Moeen taking wickets as he so often does but also keeping it tight. Root taking centre stage for England's batting with useful contributions from Taylor (still also there and looking good), Compton (deserving some of the luck that came his way) and Hales (doing better imo than some here suggest). Great credit to Elgar for his undefeated ton but it doesn't look like being match influencing.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 3:55 pm

evening all.

First off, great day for England, who've put themselves in a very strong position indeed. SA are a bit in disarray, three of their top 5 are completely out of nick, and Steyn may be down and out. To a degree, they have themselves to blame there, feel he was rushed back a bit (looked very stiff yesterday morning) and certainly overbowled in the first innings due to Amla's lack of faith in Piedt in particular. England of course trusted their back-ups and resisted the temptation to pick Anderson, and their seamers have done the job, very well backed up by Moeen. Broad was superb but also felt Woakes and Finn bowled very well, and could easily have had more wickets between them.

I see there's a debate about England's keeper again, and JD has mentioned my views so here they are again. Buttler's keeping to the seamers is top class, his footwork and natural athleticism are superb. Bairstow's footwork is pretty non existent, he's very leaden-footed, which contributed to the drop yesterday. Having said that, it was a tough-ish chance, given Amla flashed hard so the ball flew fast and on a low pitch the keeper is quite a bit closer than he normally would be. I would have backed Buttler to get there though, his footwork would have got him in a better position.

To the spinners there's not much in it, though neither are particularly good. Bairstow could really do with converting one of his fourties into a big knock sooner rather than later or he'll find himself out of the side.

Still if we're talking about keepers AB has had a bit of a shocker here. Two drops today which were both easier than the Bairstow one, and of course the nick off Compton on day one which he didn't go for when Compton had a bare handful of runs to his name. All expensive misses (at least Bairstow's didn't cost much).

Compton has done a good job, he's certainly had moments of good fortune but has capitalised. I don't think Hales has had a disaster: he hasn't looked out of place, has handled the seamers in general OK. Certainly looks a decent option to me, better than Lyth or Moeen. Don't think a top three of Cook Compton and Ballance can work, so would give Hales a run. Would like him to score a nice fifty (or more) in the next Test just to get some pressure off.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 3:56 pm

The good thing from England's point of view is that nearly everyone has contributed. Compton has weighed in with scores as has Taylor, Root and Bairstow. Wickets for Broad, Ali and Finn also so it has been a solid team performance.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Duty281 on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 5:13 pm

I suspect England will bat for at least another session and a half tomorrow, perhaps two.

Cook will want the lead safely over 400 before he starts to contemplate the declaration.

Broad is in exquisite form, but hopefully one or both of Finn/Woakes will make a meaningful contribution in dismantling the South African batting order for a second time.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by Jetty on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 5:21 pm

Glad to see Finn handed the new ball with Broad. Finn is the more senior to Woakes and you want to see your two best bowlers opening. Finn's strike rate 47.2. The same with Steyn and Morkel. For a while now Philander has taken it. When Morkel used to open his average was 25.18. First change 31.97.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by LondonTiger on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 7:23 pm

Jetty wrote:Glad to see Finn handed the new ball with Broad. Finn is the more senior to Woakes and you want to see your two best bowlers opening. Finn's strike rate 47.2. The same with Steyn and Morkel. For a while now Philander has taken it. When Morkel used to open his average was 25.18. First change 31.97.

The reasoning given for Woakes getting the first new ball is that he swings it so would make better use of it. However having not moved the ball sideways at all, it was absolutely correct that Finn got the second new ball. Let's see what happens come 4th innings.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by msp83 on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 7:54 pm

SASo a fine, fine day for England. They bowled SA out for 214 and took a decisive first innings lead, and then consolidated their advantage in the 2nd innings. Think there is no reason to go for leather in the morning, bat normally, bat through the first session and a bit, set South Africa a target beyond 400. AB dropped a couple of chances, he may not be feeling comfortable about being thrusted with the gloves. South Africa currently is a 2 man batting unit with AB and Elgar the only ones looking like capable of scoring some runs. But it is AB we are talking about after all, and the guy can do some pretty special things. But for him, South Africa are pretty much out of it already.
Raf might be hopeful about van Zyl, but I believe a run more than what he managed in the first innings from him will be a disaster for the side. He just doesn't look test class, and SA just should cut the losses and move on. And for good heavens, take the damn gloves off AB and bring back de Kock! And young Rabada whom I found so very impressive. Should have played this one to start with. And I believe Simon Harmer is the best of the holding spinners among the 3 choices that South Africa has in Tahir, Piedt and him. The guy can bat a bit as well, and he's a bit more than a holding spinner. If Dale isn't fit enough, rest him for the next game. Harmer in for Piedt, Rabada in for Steyn, and if he's fit, then for Abbott. Quinton de Kock to take the gloves, Styan van Zyl to be send packing even if that means they've to play with 10! Faf and the perpetually average South African Rohit Sharma too will have to feel the heet. Faf has had a very dificult tie in test cricket of late, but he has done some special things in his test career, and should get a chance or 2 more. Think Duminy though has wasted far too many chances and if there is a decent enough alternative in domestic cricket, then bring him in. Is there a decent all-rounder who can come into the mix? Morris? Someone else? Styan van Zyl's bowling would be pies for even Boycott's granny! That can't help keep him in the side by any means!

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by msp83 on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 7:57 pm

People might be finding more reasons to go after Compton, but yet another tenacious innings from the England number 3! And young Joe is back to his good old ways after a first innings failure. And Taylor continues to impress, and Hales, at least from my point of view, failed to surprise......

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by msp83 on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 8:30 pm

By the way the damn questions about the possible retirement of AB de Villiers haven't gone away. The man himself talked about workload management....... Hope to see him in action in test cricket for at least another 3 years...... Stupid CSA, take those damn gloves away from AB and give them to de Kock!

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by king_carlos on Mon 28 Dec 2015, 10:17 pm

guildfordbat wrote:Particularly for King Carlos - once more, day 3 proves to be moving day. I thought England had a small advantage at the end of play yesterday. Now it's a very sizeable advantage. With a lead now in excess of 260, we may have enough already. Another 50 and we almost certainly will have. We should be able to go on a fair bit further than that as well.

Excellent showing by England. Moeen taking wickets as he so often does but also keeping it tight. Root taking centre stage for England's batting with useful contributions from Taylor (still also there and looking good), Compton (deserving some of the luck that came his way) and Hales (doing better imo than some here suggest). Great credit to Elgar for his undefeated ton but it doesn't look like being match influencing.

Cheers for the honourable mention guildford! Hug

Agreed that day 3 being 'moving day' has once again proved a good adage. It's often a day when both sides start being more aggressive in terms of batting and bowling to seize an advantage. As seen today this can leave a situation where one side is vulnerable to mistakes and the opposition primed to take advantage.

I think one thing today showed from a broader perspective is just how much better the Pakistan batsmen play spin than anyone else in test cricket currently. In UAE Moeen looked toothless on surfaces he should have enjoyed. Here with a bit of turn available he can relax a bit, put revs on the ball and concentrate on landing it in the right area. Not opening of course helps this as well.

Re ABDV retiring from test cricket, I really hope he keeps going. Critically he can't just be thrown the gloves every now and then without much consideration of how it affects his game. If a guy who hasn't been keeping regularly gets given the gloves in test cricket it will rarely end well and that can easily spread to the rest of his game. It would be really sad if this is how such a fantastic cricketer bows out of test cricket.

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 8:41 am

Root goes early and Stokes follows trying to force the pace.

England still probably 50-100 shy of being pretty comfortable.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 8:58 am

Bairstow takes the lead past 300 with a 6.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 9:08 am

Bairstow getting after Piedt early here, game beginning to get away from SA now this morning.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 9:10 am

Jinxed Taylor, he goes for 42 charging down the pitch to Piedt. England attacking this morning, SA could be in before lunch
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 9:16 am

Might favour England for SA to have a carrot to chase here. Not easy to score quickly on this pitch.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by guildfordbat on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 9:19 am

232/6, a lead of 321.

To win, SA will now need to make the highest innings total of the match in the 4th dig. As mentioned above, that is always difficult. Another 50 runs from here for England and it will be even more so with still plenty of time to take 10 wickets.

Looking good ....

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by alfie on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 9:51 am

Reckon England were a little careless early on today - Stokes really didn't need to be quite so innovative so early in his innings , perhaps - but it doesn't seem to have done them much harm as Bairstow and Moeen are keeping the score ticking over rather well.

Wasn't surprised Amla didn't take the new ball : Piedt has looked his most likely wicket taker and the new ball might well have brought quicker runs : I imagine they'll take it after lunch when at least his remaining seamers have had a rest. Not saying I'd have done the same ; but you can see his reasoning.

Pitch not doing much so I think Cook will want a lead north of 400 ...if these two stay in that mightn't take long.

If they dont they'll probably get bowled out anyway Smile

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 9:54 am

350 up, 10 or so to lunch.

Would imagine there's a dash for an hour or so to come post lunch then England will declare if they make it that far.

Moeen gone for 16 lbw on review.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by GSC on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 9:55 am

Fifer for Piedt, or the South African Moeen.
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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

Post by alfie on Tue 29 Dec 2015, 9:56 am

...and there goes Moeen ! Given lbw on review , and five for Piedt ...he's gone for a few but his wickets have kept SA more or less in the game.

Woakes gets another chance to show his batting skills...

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Re: Saffers - England, 1st test, Durban - match thread

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