England see off South Africa with 3-1 series win

August 8, 2017

England enjoyed their first home Test triumph over South Africa since 1998, winning by 177 runs to claim a 3-1 series victory.

Moeen Ali was yet again key to England’s success, claiming five wickets and racking up 75 runs in the fourth Test at Emirates Old Trafford, more than any other player.

The Proteas had their work cut out, chasing 380, and indeed it proved too much as they were toppled at 202, with James Anderson lining up catches for Alastair Cook, Tom Westley and wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow while allowing South Africa to accrue just 16 runs.

England’s progress was hampered by Hashim Amla’s 83 but once dismissed, the remaining seven wickets were taken care of within 39 runs.

It marked Joe Root’s first win as England captain, ending his run of three series without a victory and sending England to third in the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings.

England’s next challenge will come against West Indies in a three-Test series, commencing at Edgbaston on August 17th. Fans can book hospitality for what is sure to be another thrilling encounter right now.

At Old Trafford though, the captain led by example, amassing 461 runs over the series, well ahead of next-best Bairstow (330), but it was Moeen Ali who was England’s man of the series.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Ali said: “This series, I have felt more consistent with bat and ball, especially ball. I felt in good rhythm after the first game. I contributed with the bat a couple of times. In general, I'm very pleased.”

"It doesn't matter what I'm labelled as; when we play one spinner, I'm the lead. If we play two, then depending on who it is, I may be second fiddle. But I have the experience in international cricket now and it's a good challenge.”

England bowler James Anderson said that the series was “an amazing win”.

He added: "We had some tough patches to get through. Bairstow's innings was crucial and Moeen in the second innings played brilliantly well, then finished it off with his bowling today.

"I'd like to say we were calm on the field today, but the way the game has gone we knew it only takes one wicket and then you lose some in a cluster. We kept faith."

Image: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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