Durban – It took three balls in the morning for England to strike a blow to any hopes that South Africa may have had of saving the the first Test match here at Kingsmead.
When AB de Villiers was trapped leg-before by Moeen Ali without adding anything to the overnight 136/4 the writing was on the wall.
Given South Africa’s recent batting woes who could blame one for thinking that there would be no further resistance as they were skittled for 174 with Ali bagging two more victims before Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad wrapped things up.
“It’s been disappointing for everybody. It’s a confidence thing. We hope that its close by,” captain Hashim Amla, whose lean run with he bat continued with just 19 runs in this match, said during the after play formalities.
This loss was their fourth in 2015, somewhat unbecoming of a side ranked as the world’s best, and with two draws and a single victory, over the West Indies, brought a frustrating year to an end.
“Hopefully the New Year, 2016, can be a change around for the South African team. It’s been a tough Test year for us and we’re hoping we can change it around,” Amla, who now has to pick his side up before the next game at Newlands on Saturday, said.
That Amla has struggled with the bat has also raised concerns that the added responsibility of captaining the side could be a factor to his dry spell, something the right-hander, who averages 50.5 in Tests and 40.76 in the 13 games he’s lead the side, was quick to dispel.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s just been disappointing not to get the runs. In a series like this certainly getting hungry to get more runs on the board. Hopefully the next three Tests will be great for me to start putting runs on the board.
“As a whole as a batting unit, certainly as captain you want to lead from the front,and not getting the runs has been most disappointing for me.”
He’s hoping the trend changes in Cape Town.
“It’s confidence. It’s getting the runs. And the the thing about it you get confident once you get the runs. You can be doing everything well in the nets and putting the work in behind the scenes but it’s got to materialise into runs on the board especially in the big games.”