This post is about England’s remarkable victory over South Africa, which has just been completed. Before I get to the details I start with a highlight from the commentary box…
BEAUTIFULLY BOWLED, AGGERS
BBC Cricket Correspondent Jonathan Agnew with some assistance from statistician Andrew Sampson pulled a classic stunt on Geoffrey Boycott earlier today – check out the video below:
https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Ftestmatchspecial%2Fvideos%2F10155565558424904%2F&show_text=0&width=560ENGLAND WIN BY 239 RUNS
England started today needing six wickets to win and go 2-1 up in the series, while South Africa needed to bat the day out to save the game. Roland-Jones took two of the wickets in successive balls after quiet start to the day, and then Moeen Ali snapped up the seventh wicket with the last ball of the morning session. The second session also started quietly before Moeen broke through, accounting for Dean Elgar for 136. One sensed that Soutrh Africa’s last hopes of saving the game went with the opener. This sense heightened when Rabada edged his first ball to Stokes who made no mistake. Morkel was hit on the pads by the next delivery, given not out by the on-field umpire and instantly reviewed, with all 11 members of the fielding side indicating simultaneously. The technology showed that it was out, and the game was over, with Moeen having a hat trick to his credit.
THE ETYMOLOGY OF THE TERM HAT TRICK
This term, which has been borrowed by other sports for less dramatic associations with the number three dates back to a match at Hyde Park, Sheffield in the 1850s in which Heathfield Stephenson, then captain of the All-England Eleven, took three wickets with successive balls, and the crowd spontaneously recognised the feat by passing a hat around to collect money that was then presented to Stephenson. Thus the feat was termed a ‘hat trick’ and has been so called ever since.
THE PLAYER OF THE MATCH AWARD
Ben Stokes has been confirmed as Player of the Match for his century, plus some useful second innings runs, wickets and catches. The only other appraoch to a contender was debutant Toby Roland-Jones (sometimes referred to as the ‘Sunbury Shotgun’ because he played club cricket at Sunbury early in his career and has a double-barrelled surname) who batted well in both innings and took wickets, including the top four of the South African order in the first innings. Tom Westley also had a good debut, looking composed in both innings.