Mon | Oct 23, 2017

Consolation win for South Africa

Published:Wednesday | January 27, 2016 | 12:00 AM
South Africa’s bowler Kagiso Rabada (right) celebrates after dismissing England’s batsman Jonathan Bairstow, (left) for 14 on the fifth day of the fourth Test between South Africa and England, at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa yesterday.

CENTURION, South Africa (AP):

England crumbled to 101 all out and their second-lowest score ever in South Africa to lose the fourth and final Test by 280 runs yesterday, ending a hugely successful tour on a sobering low point.

Continuing on 52-3, England lasted barely an hour on the final day at SuperSport Park, as their last seven batsmen were fired out in just over 13 overs, mainly down to another supreme display by young South African fast bowler Kagiso Rabada.

"This week has shown us that if you're not absolutely 100% on it ... you just can't compete," England captain Alastair Cook said.

Still, England had already won the series with a 2-0 lead ahead of the final Test and will celebrate a first victory over South Africa in 11 years. The context of the loss was that the game in Centurion was a dead rubber, and England were reaching the end of a long and rugged tour.

Over the last month, England beat South Africa convincingly in two games on their home soil, and dominated long periods of the drawn second Test in Cape Town.

South Africa chased down their consolation win desperately, having sustained a rare home series loss, been knocked off the top of the Test rankings, and been the target of sometimes fierce criticism by their fans and media commentators.

Rabada's 6-32 in England's brief second innings, and his 13 wickets in the Test, confirmed the relief of a first victory for the former No. 1 team in their last 10 Tests, since they beat West Indies in early January 2015.

"Tough times are part of the game. And it's a part of individual careers," South Africa captain AB de Villiers said. "I never felt it was panic stations."

The 20-year-old Rabada became only the third South African to take 13 wickets in a Test, and his match figures of 13-144 were the second-best ever for the Proteas behind Makhaya Ntini's 13-132 against West Indies in 2005.