South African fast bowling prodigy Kagiso Rabada took another step towards stardom when he took seven wickets in England’s first innings on the third day of the fourth and final Test at SuperSport Park on Sunday. (Scorecard)
Rabada, 20, took seven for 112 as England were bowled out for 342 in reply to South Africa’s total of 475.
South Africa were 42 for one at the close, an overall lead of 175.
Rabada wrecked what was looking like a solid England response to South Africa’s first innings when he took three wickets in 12 balls immediately before lunch.
Batting conditions were tricky under a heavily overcast sky on a pitch with occasional variable bounce but England lost only one wicket in almost two hours before Rabada’s burst.
The tourists had advanced to 208 for three when Rabada had Joe Root caught behind by Quinton de Kock for 76, pushing at a ball which left him.
James Taylor swung at a bouncer and edged the ball to De Kock and Jonny Bairstow gloved a ball which lifted and seamed back at him.
Having taken two of the three English wickets that fell on Saturday, it gave Rabada, in his sixth Test, his second five-wicket haul in successive matches.
He followed up by ending an aggressive innings of 33 by Ben Stokes, who was caught at first slip by Hashim Amla off the second delivery with the second new ball and claimed his seventh when Stuart Broad was caught on the midwicket boundary.
Alastair Cook and Root both made 76 for England while Moeen Ali was last man out for 61.
Rabada appears to have all the attributes to become South Africa’s first genuine black African cricket star since fellow fast bowler Makhaya Ntini.
Unlike Ntini, who was plucked from a rural village, Rabada is from a middle class family.
His father is a doctor and he went to a leading private school in upmarket Sandton.
Rabada was a star of South Africa’s triumph in the Under-19 World Cup in 2014 and was blooded at Twenty20 international level as a 19-year-old in the 2014/15 season, without notable success.
But he made a sensational one-day international debut against Bangladesh in Mirpur last July, taking six for 16, including a hat-trick — the best figures for South Africa in the format.
He played three Tests in India in unhelpful conditions earlier in the season, largely because of injuries to Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn but took five for 78 in the second Test against England in Johannesburg on the first occasion he played in seam-friendly conditions.
He has best figures in first-class cricket of nine for 33 for the Lions franchise against the Dolphins.
James Anderson struck early in South Africa’s second innings when he had Dean Elgar caught behind for one.
First innings century-makers Stephen Cook and Amla battled through to the close in fading light before the umpires decided it was too dark to continue, even with England using two slow bowlers.