England had satisfactory returns from the 3rd day in Port Elizabeth against South Africa where only 64 overs of play was possible due to rain in the morning. South Africa found themselves struggling at 109/5 as the off-spinner Dominic Bess picked up all the five wickets to fall. Night-watchman Anrich Nortje troubled the England team for three hours as he scored only 18 runs but faced 136 balls. Quinton de Kock scored an unbeaten 63 batting along with Vernon Philander (27*) as the Proteas ended the day on 208/6.
All the statistical highlights from yet another day dominated by England in Port Elizabeth:
A day to remember for Dominic Bess:
22y 178d – Dominic Bess became the youngest England spinner to take a 5-wicket haul in an away Test match. He is overall the 3rd youngest spin bowler with a 5-fer in Test cricket for England.
Pat Pocock (21y 256d) in the 1956 Manchester Test against Australia and Derek Underwood (22y 63d) against Pakistan during the 1967 Nottingham Test were younger than Bess at the time of their maiden 5-wicket haul in this format.
5 – Dom Bess took each of the first five wickets to fall in South Africa’s first innings. He is the first England spinner in nearly 45 years to pick the first five wickets of a Test inning. Derek Underwood claimed the first seven wickets fell in Australia’s first innings of the 1975 Adelaide Test.
A rare Test dominated by spinners:
2 – Only the 2nd time since 1958 that the spin bowlers picked up two 5-wicket hauls in the first two innings of a Test match hosted by South Africa. The other such instance came during the 2009 Centurion Test also between South Africa and England.
Another fifty at home for Quinton de Kock:
7 – Quinton de Kock has recorded a fifty-plus score in all the seven Test matches he played at home since the start of 2019. Across 12 home Test innings in this span, De Kock amassed 690 runs at an average 62.72 with a century and seven fifties as on end of day 3 in Port Elizabeth.
Anrich Nortje’s blockaton:
13.23 – Anrich Nortje had a batting strike rate of 13.23 during his 18 off 136 balls; the lowest batting SR in the team’s first innings of a Test match. (Min: 125+ balls) Pakistan’s Saleem Altaf scored a 161-ball 27 in Pakistan’s 1st innings during the 1971 Leeds Test against England at a strike rate of 13.66.
Faf du Plessis continues to struggle against the English:
20.4 – Faf du Plessis has a batting average of 20.4 at home in Test cricket against England. In 10 home innings against England, Faf scored only 204 runs with help of only one fifty. Du Plessis is one of the four specialist South African batsmen (No. 1-5) to average less than 25 in Tests at home against an opponent. (Min: 10 innings)
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