LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 12: England bowler James Anderson celebrates the wicket of Murali Vijay, his 100th Test wicket at Lords during day 4 of the Second Test Match between England and India at Lord's Cricket Ground on August 12, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

After being humiliated in the first Test by an innings and 12 runs, England came back in stunning fashion to square the series against the Proteas thanks to a bulldozing bowling effort from the evergreen James Anderson, who collected six wickets for the match.

In doing so he moved past Glenn McGrath as the all-time leading wicket-taker among fast bowlers across all formats, a well-deserved accolade given his longevity and commitment to the game.

South Africa were routed in just over two and a half days in the second Test, as both of their meagre batting efforts could do little to surpass England’s 415 for 9 declared score, a total that was propped up by commanding hundreds from captain Ben Stokes and wicket-keeper Ben Foakes.

It was evident that England’s middle order had finally come to terms with the Proteas’ pace attack, as spearhead Kagiso Rabada and fellow fast man Anrich Nortje conceded over four runs an over throughout the innings.

South Africa failed to capitalise on their brilliant start when they initially had England at 3 for 43 with Joe Root dismissed for just nine runs. Whilst they would have hoped for England to capitulate like they did in the first Test, this time they held firm.

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A resolute 173-run partnership between Stokes and Foakes proved to be the decisive fightback that England needed, as they dug themselves out of a massive hole and gave their team a monumental advantage to take the game by the scruff of the neck.

When they finally declared, it was evident that South Africa had a mountain of work to do to make any meaningful inroads back into the game, given that they were bundled out for just 151 in their first innings.

But the assignment was just too great, and England were swooping in for the kill.

Employing five quicks in South Africa’s second innings, with Ben Stokes chipping in with his fast-medium deliveries, England shot out the Proteas for again for just 179 to take them to a commanding victory inside three days.

Ollie Robinson proved to be the chief destroyer, prising out the key wicket of South African opener Sarel Erwee whilst cleaning up the tail to collect four wickets in the Proteas’ second innings.

It leaves the third and final Test match of this series to be the tantalising decider, as it is unclear whether South Africa or England hold the upper hand as both teams have inflicted crushing victories on each other.

The Third Test will start on Thursday 8th September and is to be played at The Oval, London.