Moeen Ali’s career best bowling performance helps England bundle South Africa for 119 to win the first Test at Lord’s by 211 runs in Joe Root’s captaincy debut. Moeen finished with 10 wickets in this match and also struck a valiant 87 in the first innings, which included a 177-run stand with Root for the sixth wicket, which resurrected England’s innings.
England resumed the day in a comfortable position at 119-1 with Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance at the crease. They had a lead of 216 runs with 9 wickets in hand. However, South Africa bounced back extremely well in the first session of Day Four, but were reduced to 182-8 at lunch. South Africa surely had the upper hand at that stage, but Mark Wood (28) and Jonny Bairstow (51), batted well right at the end to ensure South Africa were set a 331-run target.
South Africa in their chase never really looked top get going. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and as a result, with Temba Bavuma the only player to score over 20. Moeen perhaps had the best match of his career, who became the only England player after Ian Botham to pick up 10 wickets and score a fifty in the same match. Lord’s being a slightly spinner-friendly track, also helped Liam Dawson to pick up a couple of wickets in South Africa’s second innings.
South Africa were eventually bowled out of just 119 inside 37 overs. Winning the toss and electing to bat first, England put on 458 on the board, largely thanks to Joe Root’s 190 and fifties from Ben Stokes, Moeen and Stuart Broad. In reply, South Africa gave England a good fight, but none of their batsmen managed to convert their starts into a big score, that would have perhaps given them a slender lead. However, half-centuries from Elgar, Bavuma, Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander ensured South Africa got to 361.
Alastair Cook and Bairstow took England to 233, giving South Africa 331 to win. But lack of application from the Proteas batsmen handed England the match and a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. The next match of the series will be played at Trent Bridge from July 14. South Africa’s regular skipper Faf du Plessis is expected to return for that match, after he missed the first Test due to the birth of his first child. Kagiso Rabada will, however, miss the next match as he has been banned by the ICC following his verbal abuse to Ben Stokes.
England 458 (Joe Root 190, Moeen Ali 87; Morne Morkel 4-115, Vernon Philander 3-67) & 233 (Alastair Cook 69, Jonny Bairstow 51; Keshav Maharaj 4-85, Morne Morkel 3-50) beat South Africa 361 (Dean Elgar 54, Temba Bavuma 59, Quinton de Kock 51, Vernon Philander 52; Moeen Ali 4-59) & 119 (Temba Bavuma 21, Vernon Philander 19*; Moeen Ali 6-53, Liam Dawson 2-34) by 211 runs.