Last weekend’s drama will now be remembered for all the wrong reasons with the Proteas losing at the iconic venue for the first time in five series dating back to 1994. But despite all the diabolical mishaps on the South African front, harping on about everything that went wrong will do nobody any good.
So luckily, from a visual point of view, there was plenty to feast on even with old David “Bumble” Lloyd at his absolutely annoying best. Choosing from a treasure trove of lasting images, these top the pile.
Kagiso’s timely reminder: Before bagging the wicket of Ben Stokes in the fi rst innings last Friday, KG was clearly frustrated. So, it was no surprise when it all came out once the English all-rounder was caught behind. “Yes, yes … bleep … off ”.
And as a result, South Africa’s No 1 bowler earned his fourth demerit point equalling a suspension for tomorrow’s second Test starting at Trent Bridge. But the best was yet to come 48 hours later. Following the dismissal of first innings hero Joe Root, Rabada trapped the redheaded Stokes LBW first ball, only this time, with the utmost restraint.
Rubbing his head back and forth while walking up to celebrate with team-mates, eyes fl ashing, captain Dean Elgar put his hand on Kagiso’s mouth as if to cover it, before KG pushed it aside and put one finger over his lips to signal silence. Watched best in mute, Lloyd pipes up in his trademark Yorkshire accent: “Yes, best you shut up.”
In with a sniff : With their backs to the wall all first three days, things suddenly looked up for the visitors on Sunday morning when England went from 119/1 to 182/8 by lunchtime. The euphoria was best captured when Keshav Maharaj had Stuart Broad caught at silly mid-off , debutant Theunis de Bruyn the catcher. Seen in the background is a jubilant Temba Bavuma bouncing up and down, unable to contain his excitement.
It was a brief period of joy, but filled us all with hope if only for a li le while before the real Sunday afternoon blues set in. Fumbled and forlorn: And finally, besides all the replays of the no-ball wickets, there is one final clip that no one needs to see again.
The sight of Vernon Philander attempting to take a catch on the boundary lingers. Except his eyes weren’t anywhere near the ball but only gazing upwards. And in the next few seconds, out of pure desperation a er the realisation of the horror had sunk in, the bowler looks up at the Spidercam as if to suggest the 3D camera system had put him off .
Of the three, obviously Rabada will remain on the tips of everyone’s tongues – well at least until he returns for the third Test starting on July 27. The last thing anyone wants to see is the fiery youngster’s passion reduced to a few sarcastic brow movements. Let the fi re rage on, unbridled.