How England won 2-1 in South Africa to lift Basil D'Oliveira Trophy
By Oli Burley
Last Updated: 27/01/16 7:08am
England secured their first away series win since 2012 and first in South Africa for 11 years with victory in the third Test in Johannesburg, ending up 2-1 victors following a 280-run defeat at Centurion.
Alastair Cook's team began the series as underdogs but took an unassailable 2-0 lead with one match to play with a crushing seven-wicket triumph, inside three days at Wanderers Stadium.
It is only the second time that England have won a series in South Africa since the country's readmission to international cricket in 1991.
Here's how they did it…
First Test, Durban - Eng (303 & 326) beat SA (214 & 174) by 241 runs
Dale Steyn returned from injury full of fire, removing Alastair Cook for an 11-ball duck on a damp Boxing Day morn in Durban, and at 49-3 a tally of over 300 seemed unlikely until Nick Compton (85), in his first Test for two years, and James Taylor (70) led a counter-thrust, Stuart Broad (32no) providing the sting in the tail. Broad, leading the attack in James Anderson's absence, then dismissed Stiaan van Zyl with his second ball and removed Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers (49) - the latter for the eighth time in 11 Tests - and while Dean Elgar (118no) dug in to score his fourth Test ton he ran out of partners as Moeen Ali (4-69) mopped up.
With rumour spreading concerning AB de Villiers' imminent retirement - talk he quashed - and Steyn unable to bowl due to a shoulder injury, England sensed an opportunity. Root (73), dropped on six by De Villiers, and Jonny Bairstow (79 off 76 balls) built up an unlikely victory target of 416. South Africa began solidly until Steven Finn struck twice in nine balls and Moeen Ali followed up with 3-6 in 25 balls to seal England's first victory in the opening Test of an away series since their victory over Bangladesh in Chittagong in March 2010.
Man of the Match: Moeen Ali
Second Test, Cape Town - Eng (629-6 dec & 159-6) drew with SA (627-7 dec)
Ben Stokes (258) plundered the second-fastest double century in Test history as he and Jonny Bairstow (15no) unleashed some truly savage stroke-play to propel England to a position of dominance. Bereft of Steyn, the home attack cracked as Stokes smote 11 sixes - the most maximums ever hit by an Englishman in one Test innings. His sixth-wicket partnership of 399 with Bairstow included 196 runs in a session - just one of the outstanding stand stats.
On the ropes, Van Zyl's shambolic run out suggested South Africa were about to hit the canvas only for Hashim Amla (207) - his mind already made up to ditch the captaincy at the end of the Test, it later emerged - to bat with the freedom and diligence of old. His first ton since December 2014 wasn't flawless - most tellingly he was dropped by James Anderson on 76 - as England, depending on your definition of a chance, shelled up to nine catches costing 360 runs in total. England's frustrations on a pitch offering little assistance were exacerbated by Temba Bavuma's bravura, the nuggety number six boldly becoming the first black African to make a hundred in a Test for South Africa. England's marathon stint ended after 211 overs - Amla declaring to concede just a two-run deficit to ensure a draw-destined day five despite England's late wobble.
Man of the Match: Ben Stokes
AB de Villiers, having won his first toss as captain, might have expected more as South Africa had the best batting conditions of the match but his team registered the lowest total recorded in Test cricket in which all 11 batsmen have reached double-figures with, crucially, no-one reaching fifty. Jonny Bairstow grabbed six catches and Ben Stokes his 50th wicket before joining forces with Joe Root (110), who revived England from 22-2 and 91-4 against an inexperienced attack featuring Hardus Viljoen, who removed Alastair Cook with his first ball in Test cricket.
Given the match situation and the seam-friendly conditions, Root declared his ninth Test ton his best yet for England, who earned a 10-run lead off the back of it despite Kagiso Rabada's first five-wicket haul. Out of nowhere, South Africa imploded after lunch on day three as Stuart Broad bagged five wickets for one run in 31 balls before sealing the home side's fate with a fine, diving catch off his own bowling to finish with 6-17 - James Taylor taking two exceptional catches at short leg to hasten the collapse. England wobbled a little with victory in sight but, chasing only 73, knew the series was theirs.
Man of the Match: Stuart Broad
Fourth Test, Centurion - SA (475 & 248-5 dec) beat Eng (342 & 101) by 280 runs
Of South Africa's five changes, the inclusion of debutant Stephen Cook impacted greatest as the 33-year-old became the sixth South African and 100th batsman in Test history to score a century on debut. Son of former opener Jimmy, Cook shared a second-wicket stand of 202 with Hashim Amla (109), the former skipper's fluency and class even out-shining James Taylor's third stunning short leg catch of the series, to remove Dean Elgar. When he reached 104, Cook surpassed the total number of runs scored by his namesake Alastair Cook in the series but the England skipper countered with his first fifty after Quinton de Kock's maiden Test century had swelled South Africa's tally to 475.
Joe Root (76) and Moeen Ali (66), left with the tail, could not reach three figures as 20-year-old Kagiso Rabada claimed Test-best figures of 7-112 to earn the hosts a decisive first-innings lead of 133 on a deteriorating pitch. Amla fell four short of his second century of the match while rain cut Temba Bavuma (78no) off in pursuit of his second overall, the declaration leaving England an unlikely 382 to win. It never looked on, not least at 18-3, and a fifth day capitulation followed as seven wickets fell for 43 runs - Rabada bagging 6-32 to finish with match figures of 13-144.
Man of the Match: Kasigo Rabada | Man of the Series: Ben Stokes