Former England captain Nasser Hussain said that England's bad decision-making cost them their first Test against South Africa in Centurion. In spite of putting in a decent effort on the fourth day of the test, the English side failed to get close to their target. South Africa defeated England by 107 runs after setting a mammoth target of 376.
Hussain feels that the Proteas deserved to win, especially because of how they capitalised on their bowling strategy in the second innings. Before that, the home side batted brilliantly during the first innings.
Hussain said, "This game wasn't lost today by England. In fact, 268 on that pitch, against that attack, batting second time around was a pretty good effort. This game was lost for England in their first innings when they were 180 all out, it's not a 180-all-out pitch, and the way they bowled yesterday morning was just ridiculous. They've just been given a lesson by South Africa here on discipline, England's bowling on Saturday morning was ill-disciplined."
England started their chase with strong determination. Opener Rory Joseph Burns stood strong against the mighty South African pace battery. He went on to score an authoritative 84 off 154 balls but fell short of his hundred. Skipper Joe Root was the second-highest scorer with 48 runs off 101 deliveries. His patience was tested but failed on strengthening his defense and missed his well-deserved half-century by a couple of runs.
None of the other English batsmen, including the country's World Cup hero Ben Stokes, could do much to help the Lions overcome the Proteas' threat. England's first wicket fell on 92; at a moment the visitors looked in total control of the game. However, later they lost their last 7 wickets for 64 runs. English batsmen lacked a strong intent and consequently, the home side never failed to haunt the visitors.
Kagiso Rabada's 4 wickets for 103 runs made him the top pick of the bowlers. Anrich Nortje's 3/56 also played an instrumental role behind England's batting collapse. Keshav Maharaj claimed 2/37. He claimed the wickets of both English openers and wreaked havoc on the visitors' batting line-up.
The two sides will next lock horns on January 3 in the second test, due in Cape Town.