Stuart Broad produced another barely-believable spell of bowling on the third afternoon in Johannesburg to catapult England to the brink of a series win over South Africa.
There are few greater sights in Test cricket than a quick in full flow and few can claim to have wreaked the type of devastation Broad has proved himself capable of time and time again in a single spell.
Today’s spell further furnished that reputation as Broad claimed five wickets for the cost of just one run – and even that was a dropped catch – during 31 balls of must-watch cricket.
It was the seventh time in Tests that Broad has taken five wickets in a spell and, just like he did against Australia at Trent Bridge last August, he set England hurtling towards a series-clinching win.
The timeline of his wickets – in front of a gobsmacked sold-out crowd of 28,000 at the Wanderers – revealed the extent of the damage in 49 minutes of Proteas pain.
1.23pm – Elgar c Bairstow b Broad 15; SA 23/1 – Having just pulled Broad for four, Dean Elgar fishes outside off stump and nicks behind to Jonny Bairstow. The wicket drew Broad level with England great Bob Willis on 325 Test wickets.
1.42pm – Van Zyl c Stokes b Broad 11; SA 28/2 – Broad had been toying with South Africa opener Stiaan van Zyl, who has been shaping his bat towards the slips for much of the morning in defence, before finally edging to Ben Stokes in the cordon. A good catch high up as Broad moved past Willis to become England’s third-highest Test wicket-taker.
1.50pm – De Villiers c Bairstow b Broad 0; SA 30/3 – Broad gets the prized wicket of AB de Villiers as thoughts began to turn towards *that* spell at Trent Bridge. Broad darted one back into AB de Villiers and it caught the inside edge that Bairstow took. It was the South African captain’s first Test duck against England.
2.01pm – Amla c Taylor b Broad 5; SA 31/4 – Hashim Amla turned Broad into the leg side and was expecting runs only for James Taylor to take a brilliant low catch at short-leg, wrapping his hands under the ball before it hit the ground.
2.12pm – Bavuma b Broad 0; SA 35/5 – The Wanderers was by now rocking as Broad’s five-for was secured when Temba Bavuma tried to duck out of the way of a bouncer that does not get up and the ball cannoned off his gloves onto his stumps.