Michael Vaughan: England threw in towel against South Africa

Ben Stokes walks off after being dismissed
Ben Stokes (left), who was later named man of the series, was one of the seven wickets to fall on Tuesday

England "threw in the towel" as they collapsed to defeat in the fourth Test in South Africa, says former captain Michael Vaughan.

The tourists lost their last seven wickets for 43 runs on the final morning, bowled out for 101 to lose by 280 runs in Centurion.

England, who were dismissed inside 35 overs, won the series 2-1.

"It was a really feeble way to finish the tour. They've shown no heart," Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special.

"I thought this would be a day where England would graft. I thought they'd last until tea. That's not good enough."

'If you're a good team, you don't relax'

Kagiso Rabada (top) celebrates with team-mates
Kagiso Rabada, 20, became the youngest South Africa bowler to take 10 wickets in a match

England won the first Test in Durban by 241 runs and the third in Johannesburg by seven wickets to establish an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

But dropped catches allowed South Africa to establish a first-innings lead of 133 in Centurion, before Kagiso Rabada hurried South Africa to a consolation victory with 6-32 in the second innings and 13-144 in the match.

"There are no dead rubbers in Test cricket," said Vaughan, who captained England in 51 of his 82 Tests.

Media playback is not supported on this device

'Limp' performance frustrates Cook

"They haven't been on it. Whether you're winning the series or not, if you're a good team you don't relax."

Joe Root, Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad edged drives and Ben Stokes pulled to deep square-leg as England's hopes of saving the game disappeared amid a flurry of reckless shots.

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott said: "Get your head down and save the match. There was no effort this morning.

"Coming out and playing shots - does that excuse you after winning the series? No. There's no excuse for that. You have to be professional."

Vaughan added: "Some of those shots this morning were not the shots of a team that was thinking we can really win this Test match."

South Africa captain AB de Villiers said: "To take seven wickets in the time that we did was not part of the thinking. We were ready to go to 5.30 today."

Lawrence Booth tweet
The Daily Mail's Lawrence Booth reflects on England's record in South Africa since 1991

Haven't we been here before?

England, having already won the Ashes against Australia in 2015, lost the final Test at The Oval by an innings and 46 runs.

"It's the same feeling we had against Australia at The Oval," said Vaughan. "England were winning the series but they put in such a flat performance."

England captain Alastair Cook said: "We spoke honestly about how we were going about this week; we tried not to do what we did against Australia.

"We always try and play positively but on certain wickets you have to play a different way. We didn't get the balance right.

"Whether that's the end of the tour mentality I don't know."

Top of the Test rankings
MatchesPointsRating
Click here for the full rankings
India323,535110
Australia404,376109
South Africa343,703109
Pakistan282,977106
England454,610102

'Limp' England have much work to do - Cook

England are only the second team to beat South Africa, who began the series as the number one Test team in the world, on their own turf since 2009.

"I take my hat off to them," said Boycott. "Winning abroad - winning anywhere - is good. England receive all the credit."

De Villiers added: "They completely outplayed us in the first two Tests. They're possibly the team to beat in the next year or so."

But Cook admitted England's defeat in Centurion left "a bit of disappointment in our mouths".

"Today was a limp batting performance," he said. "If you'd offered me 2-1 before the series I would have snapped your hand off.

"It just shows how much work this side has still got to do and yet we can still win away against the team who were top of the world rankings."

Coach Trevor Bayliss added: "It frustrates not just me but the players as well.

"They are young guys that make mistakes. As a Test team, we're on the rise. They are a team full of talent but talent never won anything."

Listen to Jonathan Agnew and Geoffrey Boycott review England's final-day collapse in the TMS podcast

Top Stories