England wrapped victory by an innings and 53 runs on the fifth morning of the third Test against South Africa, guaranteeing an unassailable 2-1 lead after finally ending a remarkable last-wicket stand.
The tourists needed four wickets at the start of play and threatened to race over the line in style as Stuart Broad, Mark Wood and Dom Bess left the Proteas on the brink of defeat at 138 for nine.
The tourists were one ball away from a triumphant finish to their stay in Port Elizabeth but found themselves subject to an astonishing display of tailend hitting as Keshav Maharaj (71) and Dane Paterson (39 not out) swung their way to a 99-run partnership.
With the ball disappearing to all parts of the ground it required a run out to finish the job, Curran throwing down the stumps as Maharaj sprinted to bring up the century stand.
The result marks a notable achievement for Joe Root and his side, the first time England have enforced a follow-on overseas since 2013 and the first time they have done so in a winning cause since 1992 in Christchurch, but the captain took the brunt of the late fireworks himself.
Ollie Pope became the 10th Test cricketer to score a hundred runs and take six or more catches in a game (excluding wicketkeepers). There are two other Englishmen on the list, Frank Woolley and Ben Stokes two weeks ago in Centurion.
England’s previous victory when enforcing the follow-on in an away Test came 18 years ago, with the foundations set by Alec Stewart’s 148. He is now director of cricket at Surrey where he has overseen the development of Pope, who matched his efforts with an unbeaten 135 here. Pope went one better by scooping the player-of-the-match award, while Stewart was pipped by Phil Tufnell.
Tweet of the day
SA Cricket was a complete shambles a month ago! It won’t be fixed in a month. It’ll take a few years.
The domestic structure/club cricket & schools cricket needs sorting. That’s the main teams feeder!
Right guys in charge & we can all judge them in a few years!
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) January 20, 2020
Cause for applause
We are delighted to announce that over 11,000 Rand was raised at last night's Charity Party, in aid of Phoenix Sports Academy 🙌
Find out more about their fantastic work, inspiring communities through the power of sport 🏏⚽🇿🇦
— England's Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) January 20, 2020
The official Barmy Army supporters’ group continued their fund-raising efforts for local good causes with a charity event in Port Elizabeth on Sunday evening. The night brought in 11,016 rand (£583) for a community sports organisation called Phoenix Sports Academy.
Travel to Johannesburg, where the concluding Test begins on Friday. South Africa will need to rally hard without star bowler Kagiso Rabada, who has been banned, while England will be looking to seal a 3-1 series success.