England handed TB thrashing

18 July 2017 01:04:17 GMTPlus10

England have been left with plenty to ponder after being thrashed by 340 runs by South Africa in the second Test match at Trent Bridge.

The Three Lions have now lost six of their last eight Test matches, with their four-match series against the Proteas locked at 1-1 with two matches to play.

There is talk about changes, but are there better players? Do they need another batter?

Graeme Smith

England started the fourth day in Nottingham on one without loss in their second innings, but offered little resistance to the South African attack, eventually being bowled out for 133 with just over half an hour to go to tea.

Former skipper Alastair Cook made an obdurate 42, but when he fell to Chris Morris shortly before lunch, that signalled the end of any hope of salvaging even pride from the game.

Morris had earlier got rid of current captain Joe Root for eight and the all-rounder finished with impressive figures of 2-7 from six overs.

Seamer Vernon Philander played his part by claiming 3-24, while left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj swept through the middle order to take 3-42.

The finishing touches to the victory were applied by Duanne Olivier, who dismissed both Mark Wood and James Anderson for golden ducks, as the hosts were swept aside with more than four sessions left in the game.

And former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith believes that England have to consider changes among their batting order, with Keaton Jennings and Gary Ballance under intense scrutiny.

He told BBC Test Match Special: "There is talk about changes, but are there better players? Do they need another batter?

"The top order have been found wanting and Ballance and Jennings look technically like they will continue to be found wanting. If the middle order is going to play luxury cricket then they can't be three down."

The third Test match gets under way at The Oval on Thursday 27th July, with the series finale set for Old Trafford just over a week later.

England are now 1.33 to win the series outright and are 3.25 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline, with South Africa 51.00 to emerge as 2-1 victors.

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