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27-Jan-2020 15:07:00 GMT
SA vs Eng - 4th Test, Johannesburg, day 4

England earn series win in South Africa

Johannesburg: England surged to a 191-run win in the fourth Test against South Africa to complete a 3-1 series victory - only their second overseas success in four years.

After setting the home side an unlikely 466 to win, the tourists were frustrated by 98 from Rassie van der Dussen, who added 92 with Faf du Plessis.

They were dismissed in successive overs by Ben Stokes and Mark Wood just before tea to leave South Africa 187-4, then Stuart Broad accelerated England's charge with two wickets in an as many of his own overs after the break.

The retiring Vernon Philander was the first to fall in a final collapse of 4-14 to 274 all out, Wood taking the last wicket to end with 4-54 in the innings and nine in the match.

It gives England three wins on a tour of South Africa for the first time since 1913-14 and also means they have won three successive Test series against the Proteas.

Joe Root's side also close the gap on second-placed Australia in the World Test Championship, a deficit they can cut further on the two-Test tour of Sri Lanka in March.

Before then, England play one-day cricket for the first time since winning last year's World Cup with three matches against South Africa that are followed by three Twenty20s.

The way England ended this series, celebrating in the sunshine to the soundtrack of retiring Barmy Army trumpeter Billy Cooper, was such a contrast to the mood at the beginning of the tour, when mounting problems left them in disarray.

Brief scores:
England 400 (Crawley 66, Root 59, Pope 56, Nortje 5-110) and 248 (Root 58, Hendricks 5-64) beat South Africa 183 (de Kock 76, Wood 5-46) and 274 (van der Dussen 98, Wood 4-54) by 191 runs

However, despite losing James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Jack Leach to more injury and illness, England slowly asserted their dominance and showed themselves to be vastly superior to a Proteas side in transition.

Most pleasing for the tourists will be the emergence of a number of young players - batsmen Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope, along with spinner Dom Bess all impressed at various points.

Wood also returned to Test cricket with pace and menace, and with Root looking more assured than any other point in his tenure as captain, there are plenty of reasons for England to look to the future with optimism.


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