England play South Africa in the second test of the three match series at Leeds tomorrow needing a result to keep the series intact after losing the first test at the Oval last week. In fact to say that England lost is slightly hiding the truth, South Africa absolutely annihilated their rivals, wrapping up victory by an innings.
South Africa, who are ranked No.3 in the world made England’s No.1 ranking look ridiculous, and a series whitewash would see the Proteas leapfrog England to top spot in the world. England have not lost a test series at home since South Africa beat them back in 2009, but they are at serious risk of history repeating itself.
At the Oval last week, things seemed to be going swimmingly for England, who despite losing captain Andrew Strauss to the third ball of the match, progressed comfortably to 175-1 midway through day 1. England ended day 1 at 261-3.
From then on South Africa took charge, England were skittled out for 387 as Dale Steyn underlined his title as the world’s best test bowler by taking five wickets. South Africa’s first innings got off to exactly the same start as England’s, with Alvaro Petersen being dismissed for a duck. However that was as good as it got for England as, staggeringly, South Africa batted for the next two days losing just one more wicket. They finally declared with the score well over 600 for the loss of just two wickets, Petersen and Captain Graeme Smith for 131.
How Bet365 Bookmaker bets on the 2nd Test:
6/4 Draw, 2/1 England, 21/10 South Africa.
Hashim Amla broke the record for the highest ever score for a South African batsman with his 311 not out, in a breathtaking innings of phenomenal concentration and patience. Amla was ably supported by Jacques Kallis, who put England’s tiring bowlers to the sword in a breezy 182 not out.
All sorts of records were broken throughout South Africa’s innings and England’s bowlers looked clueless. When England finally came to bat second time around, almost 300 runs behind, South Africa’s bowlers made the pitch look like a minefield, where as England’s had made it look like a road. England were bowled out second time round without making South Africa bat again and only Ian Bell showed the determination and willpower to try and save the game on a tiring last day pitch. Many of England’s batsmen gave their wickets away playing expansive shots, when the situation called for a defensive rearguard.
Over Christmas England lost to Pakistan, but not as severely as this, and those losses were on turning pitches. This defeat was on the best batting pitch in the country. England have not battled to No.1 in the world for nothing and they should not panic too much about this loss and the poor performance that went with it. However what they should be panicking about is the quality of their opposition. South Africa have quality in every facet of their play and even the pre-test fears about AB De Villiers having to keep wicket in his first test match were firmly put to bed.
It is more than likely that Tim Bresnan will be dropped for the next test, as his bowling is the least threatening of the England bowlers, and the aggressive Steven Finn should be finally given another chance. Finn, who lost his place to Bresnan during the Ashes tour a year and half ago, has since seen Bresnan become England’s lucky mascot in winning the first nine test matches he played in. However Bresnan looked distinctly unthreatening against the classy South African top order and the extra pace and vigour that Finn offers is much needed.
England v South Africa 2nd Test Betting Tips
England are far better than they showed in the first test. Expect a much-improved performance. The value at the betting odds for the 2nd Test Match is an England Win at 2/1 with Bet365 Bookmaker.