South Africa walk off the field after a spirited win over England © Getty Images
South Africa walk off the field after a spirited win over England © Getty Images

Prior to the second Test versus South Africa, England had 21 victories from 60 matches at Trent Bridge. Stuart Broad had demolished Australia (8 for 15) in the Ashes 2015 at this very ground. It is referred as the one of the happy hunting grounds for James Anderson. He was the star performer with a seven-wicket haul in the last Test versus the same opponents at Nottimgham in 2003. With a 1-0 lead in the four-Test series, England had nothing to ponder upon. However, the script changed drastically and England lost by a humongous 340-run margin.  South Africa were determined from the word go and never let the opposition off the hook after a vital 130-run lead. Let us walk through some of the top moments of the match

Anderson, Hashim Amla attain special feats on Day One

Anderson had another pleasant game at Trent Bridge. He got a five-for to restrict South Africa for 335 in the first innings and added a significant achievement under his belt in the opening day. He became the first pacer to scalp 300 wickets at home when he got rid of Dean Elgar. Following the 34-year-old are the likes of Glenn McGrath (289) and Shaun Pollock (235).

Anderson was not the only one to hog limelight on Friday. Amla also joined an elite club. He became the fourth South African to cross the 8,000-run mark after Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith and AB de Villiers.

Anderson’s love affair with Trent Bridge

South Africa ended at 309 for 6 on Day One. With Vernon Philander and Chris Morris set, hosts had to get rid of oppositions tail as soon as possible. Anderson stood the test of time and bundled visitors for 335. With adequate swing and overcast conditions on offer, Anderson took his 22nd five-for, overall seventh at the venue.

England fold for 205 in 52 overs

England had to bat well to get close to South Africa’s first innings score. However, they never got going. Apart from Joe Root (78), no one posed any threat and succumbed to the all-round bowling effort from visitors. Philander and Morne Morkel’s early breakthroughs, coupled by Keshav Maharaj and Morris finishing skills sealed a 130-run lead for Faf du Plessis side. Some of the wickets to fall are as follows:

Amla strengthens South Africa’s case

The right-hander gave a fitting start to his side in the first innings, and ensured a smooth sail on the third day as well. South Africa, with a healthy lead, wanted to post a mammoth total against England. However, it was never going to be easy with Anderson, Broad, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali bowling from the other end. Someone had to anchor the innings and who better than Amla? He led from the front and played a composed 87-run knock. He was well supported by Elgar (80) and du Plessis (63). Amla was solid on the back-foot and came on the front with ease against the pace battery. He smacked few lofty shots against the spinners and carved out a measured innings. He set the base for South Africa setting a humongous target of 474 courtesy a resilient knock.

England’s implosion states the story of the match

England were down and out after a splendid batting performance by South Africa. They fielded for all three days were in pursuit of a record score and the pressure started to tell. English openers countered pace and swing in fag end of the third day somehow, but were in for a shock in the penultimate day. If they lasted for 52 overs in their first attempt with the bat, they were bundled out inside 45 overs on Monday. South Africans were out there to make a statement and delivered with tight bowling and soft dismissals. Philander asked questions by bowling at the stumps, Morris was clever with his short balls and yorker, and Maharaj got the ball to turn. As a result, England collapsed for 133. South Africa won the battle by some distance and earned a 340-run win. Philander made the difference with 96 runs and 5 wickets in the game.

Du Plessis’ return bolstered the team and led aggressively. He dared to bat first under overcast conditions and made his side go the hard yards from the beginning. His field changes (employing a forward short-leg and leg-slip for the short balls), persisting with Maharaj, bowling a senior bowler in tandem with inexperienced Duanne Olivier and not letting the intensity fade away led to South Africa’s complete revival from the disappointments of Lord’s.