4th Test Match – England v South Africa at Old Trafford
Moeen Ali was the hero for England as they wrapped up a 3-1 series victory over South Africa. England batted first and put enough on the board to leave South Africa chasing. Jonny Bairstow fell one short of his century top scoring as England set up their win with a total of 362. In reply nobody made a half century for the visitors as the collapsed to 202. James Anderson took four wickets to help England to a commanding first innings lead.
The Moeen Ali took over, first with the bat scoring 79 not out as England added 243 to set a target of 380 for South Africa to win. Rain took the game into the fifth day and the only real question was could England take the wickets. Haseem Amla put up resistance with 83 but Ali took the key wicket and went on to take 5 second innings wickets to seal the win and the series for England against what has been a depleted South African side.
England will now move on to face the West Indies in their final test series before heading to Australia in the winter for the Ashes.
India put 600 on the board for the second game in a row as they continued their domination in Sri Lanka. Cheteshwar Pujara (133) and Ajinkya Rahane (132) both got centuries and four other got 50+ including Ravinda Jadeja who was unbeaten on 70 not out as India declared having put a mammoth total of 622 for Sri Lanka to chase.
The first innings reply was a total collapse by Sri Lanka who were bowled all out for just 183 with Ravichandran Ashwin taking 5 wickets. Sri Lanka put more of a fight up in the second inning after India enforced the follow on. Dimuth Karanaratne hit an impressive 141 and Kusal Mendis also hit a century with 110. The size of the total was too much though with the hosts finally dismissed for 386 with 5 wickets for the excellent Jadeja for a big innings and 53 run victory.
India now only have to avoid defeat in one of the next two games to take their eight test series win in a row.
Debutant Toby Roland-Jones took 5 wickets in the first innings to leave South Africa well behind England first up score of 353 and set the tone for England to bounce back after their poor showing at Trent Bridge. Ben Stokes hit 112 and Roland-Jones took 5-57 as the visitors could only make 175.
63 from Jonny Bairstow and a captain’s 50 from Joe Root took the game away from South Africa in the second innings. However rain meant it went to day five and England went into the final day still needing 6 wickets. It was finished off with a hat-trick from Moeen Ali to seal a comfortable 239 run win. Roland-Jones also took 3 more wickets in the second innings to claim a haul of eight for the match.
Australia have won a huge victory rolling back the years to a performance that looked like one of past glories as they thrashed India in Pune. Australia’s first innings score of 260 look precarious with Matt Renshaw top scoring with 68 and Umesh Yadav taking four wickets. The bowling star however was to come from the Australians as Steve O’Keefe took India apart taking 6 wickets as India collapsed to 105 all out.
The second innings was almost de ja vous. Steve Smith got a century but there was not much support As Australia added 285 and Ravichandran Ashwin this time took 4 wickets. It was far too much for India as O’Keefe took 6 more wickets and Nathan Lyon joined in the fun0 taking the other four.as the Aussie spinners dominated with India only getting 2 more than their first innings. A huge 333 run win for Australia on a pitch that was later criticised by the ICC. India were very confident going into this series, it will have been dented after this poor batting showing.
3rd Test in Johannesburg – South Africa v Sri Lanka
South Africa secure whitewash with an inning thrashing of Sri Lanka
South Africa secured a 3-0 whitewash over Sri Lanka with an emphatic victory by an innings and 118 runs in Johannesburg. South Africa batted first with Jean Paul-Duminy (155) and Hashim Amla (134) helping South Africa to a total of 426. They then skittled out Sri Lanka for just 131 with Vernon Philander taking 3 wickets for just 28 runs. In a move used less often these days South Africa enforced the follow on ruthlessly exploiting their opponents lack of confidence. Only Dimuth Karunaratne with 50 put up any resistance as South Africa coasted to victory with Wayne Parnell taking four wickets to finish the series in style.
1st Test Match in Wellington – New Zealand v Bangladesh
Williamson guides New Zealand to victory in run fest
New Zealand secured an extraordinary victory against Bangladesh despite the visitors putting a huge total of 595 on the board. Shakib Al Hasan with 217 and Mushfiqur Rahim with 159 were the catalyst for the huge opening score. New Zealand hit back however, Tom Latham hit 177 and Mitchell Santner supported with 73 as New Zealand scored 539 to put themselves back in contention. Bangladesh then collapsed in their second innings bowled out for 160 with Trent Boult taking three wickets. This gave New Zealand the chance of what looked an unlikely victory and Kane Williamson with a fine 104 not out led the way with support from Ross Taylor (60) to eventually coast home with seven wickets to spare
Power batting sets up Australia to take the Whitewash
Three first innings centuries from Matt Renshaw, David Warner and Peter Handscombe enabled Australia to put a dominant 538 on the board taking advantage of the best of the batting time that left Pakistan chasing. Younis Khan’s class 175 not out was not enough to stop Australia taking a 200 plus first innings lead helped by Josh Hazlewood’s four wicket haul. The home side then added a high speed 241 batting Pakistan totally out of the game. Hazlewood took 3 more wickets in the second innings as Pakistan got nowhere near their target. The win means Australia take the series by a whitewash 3-0 scoreline.
Cook the difference as Sri Lanka fail to take their chance
Stephen Cook’s second innings 117 helped South deliver a 2nd innings score that enabled them to get away with a poor first innings as Sri Lanka failed to take advantage. The hosts only posted 286 first up with Cook getting 59 of those, however Sri Lanka were bowled out for just 205 with Vernon Philander taking 5 wickets. South Africa did not reject the second opportunity post a score of 406 finishing any Sri Lankan hopes and easing through the visitors order in the 2nd innings to post in the end a big 206 run win.