Paceman Stuart Broad wishes he could take the Wanderers wicket with him around the world after bowling England to a sensational victory against South Africa to wrap up a four-Test series win in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Broad scythed through the Proteas batting on the third afternoon at the Wanderers – at one point taking five wickets for just one run in 31 balls – in front of a gobsmacked 28 000 sell-out crowd.
It was just another devastating burst in an already long list of stunning Broad spells – highlighted by his 8-15 to clinch the Ashes at Trent Bridge last August – and his latest took just 49 minutes as the Proteas were ripped out for 83.
“I got in a rhythm from the far end and I think it was a good day to bowl. The wicket offered a bit off the seam and in the air and for a 6ft 6in bowler there was a bit of bounce too. I wish I could take that wicket around with us most places.”
The 29-year-old bowled 10 straight overs in all and finished the South Africa innings with a diving catch off his own bowling to finish with figures of 6-17.
A victory target of 74 was knocked off for the loss of three wickets and afterwards a modest Broad, who also passed Bob Willis to became England’s third-highest Test wicket-taker today, was deservedly named man of the match.
“I must admit I was quite tired at the end,” he said. “Finny was trying to get on and I was trying to get off. The air is a bit thinner here so 10-over spells are probably a bit too much.
Broad was laid low on the opening day of the match by the virus that has struck a number of the England squad, but just two days later he was playing match-winner.
“Most of us, the fans and players have been ill at some stage in the past couple of weeks,” he said at the post-match presentation.
“Fortunately, the doctor got me over it pretty quick and the guys bowled well that first day to cover my absence.”
Broad was still able to bowl 22 overs in the first innings and, after taking 2-82, admitted he had taken some valuable lessons heading into the second innings.
“I fell into the trap in the first innings of trying to bowl too short and was getting carried away with the bounce,” he said.
“We had a chat with the coaches and the bowling group before we went out for the second innings, we talked about bringing the batsmen forward a lot more and using the bouncer of course, but trying to get the edges from a fuller length.
“We got lucky today, we got some clouds which helps, the lights were on so it was perfect conditions to bowl. We got the ball in good areas from both ends and created that pressure and took the catches.
“Taylor took some great catches at short leg and then we took our opportunities and it has been a fantastic day for us.”