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Mark Wood
World Test Championship

England complete comfortable victory despite van der Dussen resistance

SA v Eng, 4th Test, day four, report

After Rassie van der Dussen's 98, four wickets from Mark Wood brought the end of the fourth Test, as England completed a 3-1 series victory with a 191-run win in Johannesburg.

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Having bowled England out at the stroke of stumps the previous evening, South Africa began day four at The Wanderers faced with the monumental task of either scoring 466 to win, or batting for two days to rescue a draw. Pieter Malan and Dean Elgar got off to a steady start, making it to drinks without loss. But first ball after resuming Malan edged a drive to slip and had to depart for 22. Woakes nearly made it two in the over, with van der Dussen narrowly surviving a pair of big LBW appeals.

Elgar was the next man to fall, for 24, as he tried to pull a short ball from Ben Stokes. But it hurried on to him and the miscued shot looped gently back into Stokes' waiting hands. That brought captain Faf du Plessis to the middle for what he has hinted may be his final Test innings at home.

Together with van der Dussen, he provided staunch resistance to what had seemed like an unstoppable march towards victory for England. The pair ground their way past the fifty partnership, with van der Dussen registering his third half-century of the series. England seemed to begin wondering where their next wicket would come from as Joe Root and Joe Denly both bowled overs of their part-time spin.

As the partnership passed the 30-over mark, South Africa may have had a glimmer of hope, but again Stokes provided the breakthrough. Bowling to du Plessis on 35, he got one to keep low, coming off the bottom of the home skipper's bat on its way into the stumps. The wicket renewed England, and the very next over Mark Wood got reward for a spell of sustained quick bowling. Van der Dussen, having been discomforted by some variable bounce from back of a length, tried to pounce on a fuller ball but he mistimed it and sent a low but simple catch to short extra cover just shy of a maiden Test hundred, trudging off for 98 just before the tea break.

De Kock and Bavuma briefly dominated, putting on 47 runs in the seven overs after tea. But a snorter from Stuart Broad flicked Bavuma's glove on its way past, and the game rushed towards a conclusion. Broad quickly claimed a second as Dwaine Pretorius was caught on the hook for 2, before Wood then claimed his own pair of quick wickets, first having Philander, in his final Test innings before retirement, caught down the leg side, and then de Kock skying a catch on 39.

With the score on 274/8, a mix-up between Anrich Nortje and Beuran Hendricks resulted in both batsmen at the same end, and the latter run out by more than half a pitch, before next ball Mark Wood claimed his ninth wicket of the game, his 9/100 the best figures in his First-Class career.

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