England end year with 107 defeat against South Africa

South Africa completed a comprehensive victory in the Boxing Day Test against England when they thrashed tourists by 107 runs at the Super Sport Park in Centurion.

Anrich Nortje picks 3 wickets. Photo: AP

Chasing quite an improbable target of 376, England startled in their second innings against fearsome bowling display of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje, the pace duo captured 7 wickets with Rabada shared most.

England started the day on 121-1. They were evenly poised in the contest till lunch despite losing two wickets. South Africa turned the wheel towards them as Nortje managed to dismiss England captain Joe Root. The visitors soon thrown out of the scene sending back Ben Stokes as early as at the score of 14.

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The second new ball saw Jonny Bairstow removed from the crease and by the time Root’s hard faught 48 came to an end at the score of 232, England’s hopes literally went by.

Rabada and Nortje swept away the last four wickets quickly as South Africa took 1-0 lead in the four match series.

“We turned up today with a real belief that we could win but unfortunately we weren’t able to do it,” England captain said.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis credited good preparation for the success.

He said, “It’s been a tough year for the Test team and it’s been a while since our last victory but we trained hard and there was a good feeling in the camp that we had done some really good preparation before the Test match,” he said after the home side’s 107-run victory to go ahead in the four-match series.

“We knew we needed to put in some performances to get the engine running and I thought that, in all departments, we were really good in this Test match,” he added.

The second Test between the two teams will begin on January 3 at Newlands, Cape Town.

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