Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Mark Wood's five-for gives him something to show for a memorable performance

Mark Wood took his second Test five-for Christiaan Kotze/AFP via Getty

England 400 and 248 (Root 58, Hendricks 5-64) lead South Africa 183 (de Kock 76, Wood 5-46) by 465 runs

After his first match in six months at Port Elizabeth, Mark Wood had the aches and pains to show for it, but perhaps not the stats. On Sunday, he marked a memorable weekend - one that so nearly didn't happen - with ink on paper as well as, no doubt, the inevitable twinges of a fast bowler, only masked by that broad, affable grin of his.

Wood's perfectly serviceable figures of 0 for 31 and 3 for 32 in the third Test were made ever sweeter by his excellent cameo with the bat, which yielded 42 runs off just 23 balls in England's only innings as they romped to a massive victory, and the fact he had not played since suffering a serious side strain during the World Cup final in July.

By all accounts desperate to back that up in Johannesburg, despite the fact he hadn't done so since 2017 and that he pulled up considerably sore after his previous match, Wood ended up playing - he may well not have, had Jofra Archer not aggravated his elbow injury in the warm-up minutes before the fourth Test started - and how.

Wood's contribution in Port Elizabeth was so much more than the five sixes he struck, the sharp catch he took and the three wickets he claimed as he hit the pace that makes him such a weapon, intimidating as well as damaging. But in adding his second five-wicket haul in Tests to his unbeaten 35 off 39 balls in an 82-run partnership with fellow tailender Stuart Broad at the Wanderers, Wood added the stat - the cherry on top - to a pivotal performance.

And he had to bat again, adding 18 off 11 balls before walking across his stumps to be bowled by Dwaine Pretorius in the closing stages of the day, the ninth England wicket to fall. England set South Africa 466 to win when Joe Root was out on the last ball, caught brilliantly by Faf du Plessis for 58 to give Beuran Hendricks a five-wicket haul on debut.

Wood already had three wickets in the bag when South Africa resumed on a teetering 88 for 6.

After Chris Woakes accounted for Vernon Philander, caught by Broad on the fifth ball of the day, South Africa put up some resistance via Quinton de Kock and Pretorius in a 79-run stand for the eighth wicket. Ben Stokes ended up making the breakthrough when he had Pretorius caught by Zak Crawley at gully for 37 off 73 balls.

De Kock failed to convert the big score he had threatened, falling for 76 off 116 to a beautiful ball from Wood that trimmed the top of middle stump and shattered the leg-side bail.

It became a mater of time before South Africa were all out and they were soon enough, when Wood had Dane Paterson caught behind by Jos Buttler to claim his fifth and send the hosts to lunch with a deficit of 217 runs at 183 all out.

England opted not to enforce the follow-on and their new opening pair of Crawley and Dom Sibley posted their third consecutive stand of 50+ runs.

Philander, playing his last international match, limped off after bowling just nine balls, in the third over of the innings. He was sent for scans on his hamstring and did not return, later diagnosed with a grade-two hamstring tear and ruled fit to bat in South Africa's second innings. Thus ended a torrid day for Philander, who was also fined 15 percent of his match fee and handed one demerit point - which is of no consequence in his final match - for giving Jos Buttler a verbal send-off on Saturday.

Hendricks stepped up in his the absence - and that of the suspended Kagiso Rabada - by claiming 5-64 off 15.3 overs.

The Crawley-Sibley union was ended on 56 when Pretorius had Crawley caught behind by de Kock for 24. Sibley hung around to put on 44 runs but was furious with himself when he chipped Hendricks straight to Pieter Malan at midwicket.

Stokes came out swinging, adding 28 off 24 but he became Hendricks' second victim, edging to Rassie van der Dussen in the slips.

When Anrich Nortje had Ollie Pope caught behind cheaply, it was de Kock's 200th dismissal as a Test wicketkeeper. Nortje and de Kock combined again to extend Buttler's tortuous time with the bat, out for eight, having failed to reach 30 this series.

Hendricks took care of Sam Curran and Woakes before du Plessis' stunning dive at gully sent Root on his way and handed him his fifth wicket.

South Africa 4th innings Partnerships

1st39D ElgarPJ Malan
2nd50D ElgarHE van der Dussen
3rd92F du PlessisHE van der Dussen
4th6HE van der DussenQ de Kock
5th48T BavumaQ de Kock
6th4D PretoriusQ de Kock
7th21VD PhilanderQ de Kock
8th7Q de KockA Nortje
9th6BE HendricksA Nortje
10th1D PatersonA Nortje