South African paceman Kagiso Rabada must serve a one-match ban.
South African paceman Kagiso Rabada must serve a one-match ban.

Rabada’s Root send-off earns Proteas quick harsh ban

SOUTH Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been banned from the series-deciding final Test for a provocative celebration after dismissing England captain Joe Root.

Rabada was given one demerit point for screaming, hunching down and pumping his fists right next to Root after bowling him on the first day of the ongoing third test in Port Elizabeth.

That demerit point took Rabada to four points accumulated over the Past two years and led to a one-Test ban.

The International Cricket Council said Rabada had pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the ban.

It rules the 24-year-old Rabada out of the fourth and final Test in Johannesburg, which starts next Friday. The series is 1-1 with England on top in the third Test.

Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope made centuries on a potentially decisive day of the series on Friday.

Stokes made 120 and Pope 135 not out for his maiden Test century, as England surged to 499-9 declared on the second day in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa couldn't safely see out 18 overs at the end and lost Pieter Malan (18) and Zubayr Hamaza (10) to be 2-60 in reply. Spinner Dom Bess took both wickets.

England was on top throughout a one-sided day and South Africa was relieved when rain finally allowed it to get off the field in the early evening.

Bess constantly troubled the batsmen and fast bowler Mark Wood was clocking speeds of 90 mph (145 kph) at the other end.

 

 

With news concerning Rababa hanging over them, the South Africans appeared completely deflated in the field and Stokes and Pope took full advantage on a pitch that was already proving tough for bowlers.

Stokes and Pope took their careful 76-run partnership overnight to an unbroken and flourishing stand of 187 by lunch

They had put on a mammoth 203 for the fifth wicket by the time Stokes hit a square drive to be caught by Dean Elgar after lunch and give Dane Paterson a first Test wicket on his debut for South Africa.

 

On a day when the start of play was delayed by nearly an hour, also because of rain, the overall outlook for South Africa was particularly gloomy.

Stokes, voted the world player of the year this week, played cautiously at the end of the first day to consolidate England's promising position but broke free on the second morning and was in complete attack mode.

Ben Stokes was in electric form again as England took a tight grip on proceedings at Port Elizabeth.
Ben Stokes was in electric form again as England took a tight grip on proceedings at Port Elizabeth.

He lashed 12 fours and two sixes in all as he charged to a ninth Test century. Three of those hundreds have come in the past five months and Stokes continues to punish South Africa on this tour.

Sam Curran added 44 down the order in a half-century stand with Pope, and tailender Wood (42) and Pope added 73 for the ninth wicket as South Africa fell apart.

The Englishmen launched a barrage of boundaries, with No. 0 Wood hitting five sixes. Pope finished with 18 fours and a six.

England's 499-9 declared was the fourth-highest total ever in a Test at St George's and the second best by a visiting team. Only Australia in 1950 has made a bigger statement at the ground by a touring team.

Rabada, who was South Africa's best bowler on the first day, took no wickets on the second and looked as if his morale was shot.

Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj had to lead the struggling and dispirited home attack with 5-180.

On a miserable day for him, Rabada had Wood out caught just before the end of England's innings, but was pulled up for a no-ball.

News Corp Australia


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