Can South Africa pull off record run-chase?

Last Updated: 06/01/20 8:34pm

Pieter Malan hit a maiden Test fifty on debut for South Africa and remains unbeaten on 63 not out
Pieter Malan hit a maiden Test fifty on debut for South Africa and remains unbeaten on 63 not out

South Africa are 126-2, still requiring another 312 runs to pull off a Test record run-chase of 438; so can they do it?

That was up for discussion on the latest episode of The Cricket Debate, with former England batsmen Alec Stewart and Vikram Solanki assessing South Africa’s chances of pulling off the unthinkable in the second Test against England in Cape Town.

Listen to The Cricket Debate below or download here…

“I can’t see it happening,” said Stewart. “Sure, records are there to be broken, they’ve got players that have batted long in the past, but history says they’re not going to do it; I’d be absolutely staggered if South Africa get close.

S Africa vs England

January 7, 2020, 8:00am

Live on

“If South Africa go into lunch having only lost one more wicket – the night-watchman – I don’t see them winning the game, but they’ll have belief that they can maybe save the game.

“But England must be favourites. They may only have got two wickets, but they’ve had a very good day. They are bossing the game.

“Can they get early wickets in the first hour tomorrow morning and then get that second new ball to count and really ram it home? England have to do everything they can to get those eight wickets and get it back to 1-1 in the series.”

4:09
The best of the action from day four of the second Test between South Africa and England at Newlands in Cape Town.
The best of the action from day four of the second Test between South Africa and England at Newlands in Cape Town.

Solanki agreed with his former Surrey and England team-mate, adding: “Just the fact that it is a world-record chase, the pressure they’re going to be put under, I think it’s going to be very difficult.

“The only chance is if someone like Quinton de Kock absolutely plays out of his skin and has someone stay with him, like Faf du Plessis or Rassie van der Dussen.

“Tomorrow, England need James Anderson to start where he left off – the ball reversing – and Dom Bess to stay consistent, work in an area and put the South African batsmen under pressure.

“All wrapped up before tea.”

3:56
Dom Sibley reflects on a memorable day after hitting his maiden Test century.
Dom Sibley reflects on a memorable day after hitting his maiden Test century.

Also on The Cricket Debate, Stewart and Solanki discussed…

  • Jimmy Anderson’s late wicket of Zubayr Hamza and how decisive it could prove
  • Offspinner Dom Bess’ role heading into the final day of the Test
  • Stewart’s pride at former Surrey opener Dom Sibley’s maiden Test ton
  • Ben Stokes’ breath-taking innings of 72 off 47 balls
  • South Africa’s bizarre tactics not taking the new ball at the start of the day

Watch day five of the second Test between South Africa and England, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 8am on Tuesday.

Source : Sky Sports