Finally we come to an end of this long and exciting series between England and South Africa. The latter go back home, bruised and tired, but to participate in an exciting revamped domestic T20 league. The English, on the other hand, do not have much of a break and get ready to face West Indies next. Hope you enjoyed all the action and see you again soon! Until then take goodbye and take care!
England's skipper Joe Root says he is really pleased with the way things have gone and his guys have responded well. On the target set by them, says he knew it was a lot of runs but du Plessis and Amla put them under pressure. However, his side bounced back strongly by taking their chances. About his new-ball attack (Broad and Anderson), he says it is fabulous and hopes they carry on for a few more years. Goes on to say his side faced different challenges but played well as a unit and need to do more hard work in the future. About the balance of the team, sees four bowlers and one all-rounder as the way to go but it also depends on the conditions. Ends by saying it is a very proud moment to win the series against South Africa after 20 years at home. Feels that it has been a fantastic team performance which is what it takes to win.
South Africa's skipper Faf du Plessis on it being a long tour, starts by congratulating the English team as they were consistently better. Feels that it has been a tough time ever since they came here for the ODIs before the Champions Trophy which was disappointing. States that they tried their best but England kept coming up with answers. Feels that a combination of things went wrong for them. Further adds that the quality of the Englishmen was good. However his side did not take their chances. Mentions that Bairstow and Moeen were dropped which really hurt them. Further feels that those half chances should have been taken. Opines that they (England) almost got an extra player because of the all-rounders and balance in their side. States that they always had one guy coming and blowing them away. Goes on to say that it was frustrating to miss Vernon Philander and Chris Morris, the former being their most important bowler. Again mentions that the English side are fortunate to have so many all-rounders. Ends by saying he feels proud of playing here in England and remembers that last when they came they were crowned number one here last time they came. Overall he says they had fun but were consistently outplayed by them.
MOEEN ALI is the MAN OF THE MATCH and also the England Man Of The Series adjudged by South African coach Russell Domingo for his consistency throughout the series with bat and ball. He is thankful to the crowd for egging him on throughout the series and says it helps a player a lot. On the thought in the English camp when Amla and du Plessis were going great, Moeen says that his team knows that they are great players and they were patient. Once a wicket fell, it just paved the way. Adds that he was looking to bowl on the fuller area on the rough and reaped rewards. Also says that he is enjoying the freedom to bat at number 8.
South African Man of the series, Morne Morkel says he enjoyed getting the award. Also says he was happy with the way he bowled. Adds that he was committed to hitting the lengths and getting consistency. Feels it was crucial to get a fuller length on a regular basis which is something he has been working on. On his battle with Cook, he feels it has been a quality one and he enjoys bowling to left-handers. He has done a lot of that with his brothers in his backyard and ends by saying he was happy to lead the attack here.
South Africa were given a total of 380 to chase. However, with the way they had been batting throughout the series coupled with the difficult batting conditions, it was always going to be a big ask. The openers did not bother the scorers much but Amla played a fighting knock of 83. He was given good support from Faf du Plessis as the two added 123 runs together. However, once their partnership was broken before Tea, the final session of the day looked certain to be the last of the series. The tail did not wag for too long as Ali got in the act finishing with a 5-fer. With that, England wrapped up the series convincingly. Stay tuned for the presentation.
In reply, South Africa folded for just 226 as none of their batsmen could rack up a score over 50. James Anderson was the pick of the bowlers as he picked four wickets. He was given good support by Broad who picked up three scalps. By then, England looked pretty comfortable as they just had to add further on to their first innings lead. They did that courtesy of some quickfire runs thanks to Moeen Ali who scored 75 off 66. Root had created the base for that with a well-made 49 himself. At one stage England were 153 for 7, but Elgar dropped Moeen on 15 and that changed the game. Morkel was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets while Olivier took three.
England will be very, very happy as they win a home series against South Africa for the first time since 1998! The result never looked in doubt as the hosts looked in complete control of the match since day 2! A terrific knock of 99 from Bairstow ensured that England reached a commanding first innings total of 362. Things could have been very different had Bairstow not been dropped on 53. Root and Stokes played a good hand of 52 and 58 respectively in the innings as well.
Moeen Ali to Duanne Olivier
OUT! ENGLAND WIN BY 177 RUNS! Ali cleans the last man straightaway to clinch the victory and series for England! How apt as he has been the star performer for the team in this series and he picks up another 5-fer. It was a loopy ball on off and Olivier tried to prod at it off his front foot. The ball took an outside edge and flew to Stokes at first slip who took a regulation catch. THE HOSTS WIN THE SERIES 3-1!
DUANNE OLIVIER, the last man is in next.
Moeen Ali to Morne Morkel
OUT! Morkel's stay in the middle has come to an end as Ali picks his fourth wicket. It was a loopy ball outside off and Morkel cleared his front leg to try and smack this over the bowlers head. He did not get the direction that he wanted as the ball flew towards mid off. Joe Root back-tracked and kept his eye on the ball to take a good jumping catch. England are a wicket away from a win now!
Moeen Ali to Keshav Maharaj
Full and outside off again, driven towards long off for a single.
SIX! Some runs in the kitty for Maharaj. It was a tossed up delivery outside off, Maharaj came down the track and sent it sailing over long on. There was a fielder in the deep but only as a spectator.
A short ball on middle, pulled towards square leg.
MORNE MORKEL walks in at number 10, replacing Rabada.
James Anderson to Kagiso Rabada
OUT! Caught! Number 8 goes! Full and outside off, a touch wider, Rabada drove it uppishly. He could not get enough elevation but what a catch from Tom Westley at short cover. He leapt full stretch and took a wonderful catch. The end is nigh...
The length is a touch shorter and KG defends solidly.
Change of angle from Anderson...
Fuller again, now Kagiso looks to play the off drive but the ball goes off the inner half of the bat towards the bowler.
Full and on middle, pushed back to the bowler off the inner half towards mid on.