South Africa young gun Kagiso Rabada routs England in fourth cricket test
20-year-old fast bowling sensation takes six for 32 – match figures of 13 for 132 – as tourists collapse to be 101 all out to give Proteas victory by 280 runs
Kagiso Rabada, South Africa’s 20-year-old fast bowling sensation, routed England as the hosts gained a consolation victory on the fifth day of the fourth and final test on Tuesday.
Rabada took six for 32 as England collapsed to 101 all out at SuperSport Park. South Africa won by 280 runs, although England took the series 2-1.
Rabada’s match figures of 13 for 144 were South Africa’s second best in history. Only Makhaya Ntini, who took 13 for 132 against the West Indies in Port of Spain in 2004-05, has done better.
Rabada said Ntini was one of several bowlers he had admired while growing up.
“Every time I asked him to come out and perform for us he did,” said South African captain AB de Villiers. “He showed the maturity of a guy who has played 100 test matches.”
England captain Alastair Cook was disappointed at the way his side folded on Tuesday, losing their last seven wickets for 49 runs in just over an hour, but added his praise for Rabada.
He said Rabada’s maturity at the age of 20 was highly impressive.
“The control he has and the ability to swing the ball at pace, and to be able to work out where to bowl at each batsman. He’s bowled really well in these last three games. To get 13 wickets in a test match at that age, the sky’s the limit for him. He’s got all the attributes that are needed.”
Cook cautioned that he would not enjoy such success every time he played.
“He’s still very raw. You aren’t going to get days like this every week and there are going to be days like Cape Town where Ben Stokes was hitting him at will.
“He’ll know that but for a 20-year-old with the talent he’s got, he’s going to be a serious bowler.”
Rabada, who had said after taking seven for 112 in the first innings that he felt his bowling had been no better than “okay”, was asked whether he felt he had bowled well in the second innings.
“The ball was coming out nicely,” he said. “I felt my rhythm improved. As the match went on I felt better.”
He again deflected credit and said he didn’t feel he had “carried” the South African attack as one journalist suggested.
“I’m still a youngster in the team. I don’t think I was carrying the attack, not at all, not with guys like Morne Morkel and Kyle Abbott. They were carrying me.”
He said it was “amazing” to be on the winning side for the first time in his six-test career.
“We’ve stuck together as a team and everyone played amazingly well. We stayed positive and I’m happy that I contributed,” he said, adding that he was realistic about his achievement.
“I’m not going to do this every day. In the first test match [that he played in the series in Cape Town] I got smashed everywhere. You have to enjoy these moments.”
De Villiers said it was important for Rabada to be managed well.
“It’s up to a few of us and some of the management to make sure he’s fresh when he walks out there. He’s very important for us. He is the future, along with a few other guys. Guys like that are always exciting for captains and team managers.”