Following his side’s massive nine-wicket win over South Africa in the third and final Test at The Oval, England skipper Ben Stokes has said that England aimed to get a result in the match that got shortened.
Fiery bowling from pacers Stuart Broad (4/41 and 3/45) and Ollie Robinson (5/49 and 2/40) coupled with half-centuries from Ollie Pope (67) and opener Zak Crawley (69*) helped England thrash South Africa by nine wickets in the final Test, shortened by two days. The play did not happen on the first day due to rain. After the demise of Queen Elizabeth II, play was suspended on the second day.
Stokes said different players stood up to win matches for the team.
“Toss is something you love to win, you still have to execute. When it comes to Test cricket, it is who executes their plans better. When you have got bowlers like Jimmy (James Anderson), Broady (Stuart Broad) and Robinson, you try to manage them. It is about understanding when I have to bring the best out of them. They have been outstanding. For me, it is about clarity. There’s a reason why we have been able to go out there and perform. With this game being shortened, our main aim was to get a result,” said Stokes in a post-match presentation.
The English skipper said that the side will always play the way that will entertain people and it is important to give players time to perform.
“Pope showed us what he is capable of doing. Credit to Lees and Zak. Opening is very tough in England. Do not underestimate the way they set the tone. They (Anderson and Broad) are phenomenal. To have two of the great seam bowlers, I feel very blessed. They keep turning up day in and day out, they keep believing. A lot of young cricketers will look up to them. Joe has got to take a lot of credit for captaining the side for six years and buy in something totally different. We have started off the summer with six wins in seven matches. A different challenge in Pakistan, the spin will play a big role, we will go in with the same positive mindset,” he added.
England won the series 2-1.
Chasing 130, England pulled it off comfortably with Zak Crawley (69*) and Ollie Pope (11*) guiding team to the target after Alex Lees fell for 39 to pacer Kagiso Rabada.
In their second innings, South Africa were bundled out for 169 runs. They gained a 129-run lead in the match, setting up a target of 130 runs for England. England was bundled out for 158 runs in their first innings and gained a 40-run lead over South Africa, who could score only 118/10 in their first innings.
Ollie Robinson’s overall figures of 7/89 earned him the ‘Man of the Match’ award while captain Ben Stokes’ tally of 149 runs in three matches and 10 wickets earned him the ‘Player of the Series’ award. (ANI)
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