After a disappointing first Test, that even culminated in pace-bowler Kagiso Rabada being banned for the second Test, South Africa were keen on levelling the series.
The South African cricket team defeated the Englishmen by a comprehensive 340-run after some fine bowling and superb batting. England were dismissed for a meagre 133 in their second innings to enable South Africa seal their victory. South Africa won the second Test with a day to spare at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.
Vernon Philander (3-24 in 10 overs), Keshav Maharaj (3-42 in 12 overs) and Chris Morris (2-7 in 6 overs) were very instrumental in this commanding victory. With an overall lead of 473 runs, South Africa had declared their second innings closed on 343 on Sunday. The chase for England was shambolic as Philander executed his ruthless bowling to dismiss K. Jennings and Gary Ballance. Morne Morkel was not to be left out in the onslaught as he controlled and moved the ball around making sure England's runs were restricted.
Decisive field placings and changes in bowling by South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis when things could have slacked for South Africa were key in the victory. Jonny Bairstow was dismissed by Morris for 16, but Moeen Ali managed to keep sailing with the bat. However, he was soon caught by Heino Kuhn and England capitulated for a measly 133.
The lower middle-order of England failed to make good strikes in response to Maharaj's inquisitive and accurate bowling. Morris' pace helped take the scalps of Cook and Root, England's vital cogs in the batting attack.
Both the first innings and second innings of South Africa's batting were resounding such that it became an uphill task for England to catch up. Add to that the excellent bowling both in the seam and spin departments, England's narrative of their dramatic demise had already been authored.
With South Africa having levelled the series 1-1, they gear up now for the Third Test at the Oval on 27 July.