What would be considered a success for the Windies as they take on Afghanistan?

By November 04, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Du Plessis sad South Africa could not give Philander fairytale ending Du Plessis sad South Africa could not give Philander fairytale ending

    Faf du Plessis spoke of his sadness South Africa could not give Vernon Philander a fairytale finish to his Test career after their side went down to a heavy defeat against England.

    England sealed a 3-1 series win by wrapping up a 191-run victory with a day to spare in the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers.

    The match was far from a dream send-off for Philander, who having struggled with a hamstring injury ended with just 14 runs and two wickets as the Proteas lost a third straight contest

    "I'd like to thank Vern for his services to the Proteas over the years," Du Plessis said after Philander was given a standing ovation and a guard of honour from his team-mates having been dismissed for 10 by man of the match Mark Wood.

    "This team will miss him so, so much. We will sit with him tonight in the dressing room and share in the memories. 

    "Off the field he's been a champion guy and I'm sad this game wasn't the fairytale moment he deserves.

    "It's a lot of effort and time away from family, the sacrifices you make for over 10 years. We're very thankful."

    Du Plessis, who has hinted his own Test career may be nearing its end, acknowledged the Proteas had fallen short, particularly when it came close to their batting.

    The skipper added: "Right through this series after that first game, England were better in every department than us. 

    "We did play well in that first game, but one Test doesn't make a summer. We didn't put enough runs on the board, though Rassie van der Dussen played well here and was unlucky not to get a great hundred.

    "Anrich Nortje came through shining for us, we need pace to take the place of the Steyns and Morkels, and he has come through - the skill to land the ball in the same area is what has impressed me the most.

    "Beuran Hendricks came in with five in his first Test match but from a batting point of view we weren't at our best and the scores reflect that."

    Philander was keen to credit England after his Test career came to a close.

    "Obviously not the way I wanted to end," he said.

    "All credit to Joe Root and his team. We all fight hard on the park but at the end of the day we remain gentlemen. 

    "To my guys, thanks for making it such an honour for me to wear this badge in the last few years. It's been an honour and privilege to share a dressing room with so many greats.

    "I think now the hard work starts, giving back to young talent is my mission in life, hopefully I can mentor a couple to play for this wonderful team one day."

  • Root: Sky is the limit for England after 'very special' South Africa series win Root: Sky is the limit for England after 'very special' South Africa series win

    Joe Root believes the sky is the limit for England as a Test team after they completed a 3-1 series win in South Africa.

    England wrapped up the series with a 191-run victory in the fourth Test at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Monday.

    The triumph marks England's first series success since a 3-0 sweep of Sri Lanka in November 2018.

    Dom Sibley, playing in only his second Test series, top-scored for England with 324 runs, forming an opening partnership with another new boy in Zak Crawley.

    Ollie Pope scored two half-centuries and his first century while spinner Dom Bess vindicated his selection with a crucial six-wicket performance in the third Test. 

    With so many young players contributing to an impressive victory, captain Root is confident there is a lot more to come from his side.

    "Very special indeed. It's taken a lot," Root said of the win at the post-match presentation. "To pick ourselves up and play the way we have done in the last three games is extremely pleasing.

    "It's been a real squad effort from a number of guys that are very much at the start of their international careers.

    "The sky's the limit for us now, we have to keep looking to get better. It's been a fantastic series for our development as a Test team."

    Ben Stokes won the man of the series award, having played an instrumental role, most notably in the second Test in Cape Town, where he scored 119 runs, claimed six catches and took a match-winning 3-35 in South Africa's second innings. 

    He also struck a century in the third Test and finished the series with 12 catches, the most of any fielder, his performance coming after his father was rushed to hospital days before the series.

    "The most important thing is that we're walking away with a series win," Stokes said. "It's been a bit of a rollercoaster.

    "I hope the old man is in his hospital bed watching this with a big smile on his face."

    Mark Wood was the key figure in England's fourth Test win, taking nine wickets in the match and also forming the highest 10th-wicket partnership at the Wanderers as he and Stuart Broad combined for 82 to push the tourists to 400.

    Man of the match Wood had not expected to play in the series finale, but he was included after elbow soreness led to Jofra Archer's omission.

    The seamer, who has frequently battled injuries in his career, said: "There was a bit of doubt going in but boy am I glad I played now.

    "I'm over the moon. I've had a lot of dark days, credit to the backroom staff, everyone's so supportive, [head coach] Chris Silverwood tries to get me to have fun."

    Describing his approach, he added: "I give it everything I've got, run in hard for the captain, as much energy as I can, and let it fly."

  • Wood takes four as England wrap up 3-1 series victory over South Africa Wood takes four as England wrap up 3-1 series victory over South Africa

    England wrapped up a comprehensive 3-1 series win over South Africa as their bowlers sealed a 191-run victory on day four of the fourth Test at The Wanderers.

    Rassie van der Dussen agonisingly missed out on his first Test century as England took 10 wickets on Monday in Johannesburg to complete the win with a day to spare.

    Chasing a world-record target of 466 in the fourth Test, South Africa had made a solid start on day four before losing captain Faf du Plessis (35) and Van der Dussen (98) in the last 10 minutes before tea.

    That dropped the Proteas from 181-2 to 187-4 and England quickly got rid of the home side's lower order in the final session for a third consecutive triumph, Mark Wood (4-54) ending with nine wickets in the match.

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