Dom Bess’ maiden Test fivefer leads England to South Africa victory
- Credit: Archant
Former Sidmouth Cricket Club spinner Dom Bess earned his first Test fivefer as England defeated South Africa by an innings and 53 runs in Port Elizabeth.
Playing in just his fourth Test, Bess caused havoc in South Africa's first innings and took the first five wickets as the hosts struggled to chase England's total of 499/9d.
Bess is one of five players in the side aged under 24 alongside Sam Curran, Zak Crawley, Dom Sibley and Ollie Pope who scored his first Test century in England's first innings.
Bess followed up his first-innings performance with another wicket in the Proteas second innings, dismissing tailender Anrich Nortje as England closed in on the victory which saw them take a 2-1 lead in the four-match series.
The off-spinner's journey with England has not been a simple one as having made his debut in 2018, he was dropped to the Somerset second team and moved on loan to Yorkshire to find some game time.
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The former Sidmouth spinner came in for praise from his captain Joe Root. He said: "What a journey he has had.
"He has not taken a backwards step with his skills and has continued to improve his game. Now we are seeing it on this arena.
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"It has been a tough time for him and we need to find ways of him playing more county cricket because he needs to be bowling regularly in first-class cricket so when he comes to different situations around the world in Test matches he is ready to go."
The only blot on the 22-year-old's copybook would have been another disappointing display with the bat as he fell for one run from 10 balls. However, with the score at 413-7 by the time of his arrival to the crease, England's work was largely done already.
After the game, he took to Twitter to say it was an 'absolute dream' to take his first England fivefer and congratulated teammate Pope on his hundred, commenting that it will be the 'first of many'.
Bess was not the only Devon representation at Port Elizabeth as members of Exmouth Town FC supporters club the Mufftown Casuals flew out to take in the third Test. England will look to round-out the eventful series with a third win in Johannesburg which starts on Friday (January 24).