The failure to convert starts was a disappointing feature of the Standard Bank Proteas’ performance on day two of the fourth Test match against England at Old Trafford in Manchester on Saturday. The top six batsmen – bar Dean Elgar - all made solid encouraging starts, but failed to convert the foundations into meaningful contributions.
Batsman, Hashim Amla, says the shortcomings have been ‘frustrating’ for the batting unit, who face another tough battle with the first innings score on 220/9 with a deficit of 142 runs.
“ It’s probably been happening to both teams,” he said after the day’s play. “ Guys getting in but not getting the big scores that we are used to seeing. It is frustrating, as one of the players, every player who gets a start wants to convert it, unfortunately we couldn’t do it today. The bowlers have bowled well, you have to give credit to the bowlers. I often look at the manner of dismissals to see whether it was a loose shot, there weren’t many, so you have to give credit to the bowlers.”
James Anderson was the chief destroyer in his home conditions finishing with 4/33, and was well supported in a disciplined bowling performance which didn’t give the batsmen many scoring opportunities.
“The guys bowled really well,” Amla said. “ The wicket is on the slow side, there is a bit of inconsistency which does make scoring difficult. Moeen (Ali) did a similar job to what Keshav (Maharaj) did for us, he managed to hold it tight and as a batting team you never run away with the run rate.”
Kagiso Rabada (23 not out) and Duanne Olivier (0) will resume on day three with the aim of chipping away at an imposing first innings deficit. Play is scheduled to start at 11h00 local time.