South Africa v England: Hosts race to 280-run consolation win in final Test

By Jamie LillywhiteBBC Sport
Kagiso Rabada celebrates one of his 13 wickets
Kagiso Rabada finished with match figures of 13-144
Fourth Test, Centurion (day five)
South Africa 475 & 248-5 dec: Amla 96
England 342 & 101: Rabada 6-32, Morkel 3-36
South Africa won by 280 runs

South Africa bowled England out for 101 on the final morning to seal a 280-run consolation victory in the final Test.

The hosts needed only 66 minutes and 82 deliveries to take the remaining seven England wickets in Centurion.

Kagiso Rabada, 20, became the youngest South Africa bowler to take 10 wickets in a match, and finished with 6-32 to add to his first-innings 7-112.

Morne Morkel claimed 3-36, with James Taylor's 24 the highest score for England, who won the series 2-1.

England, beaten 2-0 by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates earlier this winter, next play Test cricket against Sri Lanka at Headingley on 19 May.

Ben Stokes batting
Ben Stokes struck two fours before pulling his 14th delivery to deep square-leg

All over in under a session

Having reduced England to 52-3 on Monday, South Africa hurried through the rest of the order thanks to some splendid bowling on a wearing surface.

In all, England lost their last seven wickets for 43 runs in 10.5 overs as any hopes of batting out the day vanished amid a flurry of reckless strokes.

Here's how the collapse unfolded:

  • 58-4 (23.6 overs): Taylor c De Kock b Morkel 24 - gloved a brutal, rising delivery that moved away off the seam
  • 58-5 (24.3): Root c Elgar b Piedt 20 - dropped off the first ball he faced on Tuesday, he soon edged a drive to slip
  • 83-6 (28.3): Bairstow c De Kock b Rabada 14 - caught at slip off a Rabada no-ball, he edged the next delivery behind
  • 83-7 (29.2): Stokes c S Cook b Morkel 10 - pulled straight to deep square-leg
  • 91-8 (32.4): Woakes c De Kock b Rabada 5 - flailed at a wide one to be caught behind
  • 101-9 (34.3): Broad c De Villiers b Rabada 2 - another drive outside off stump, another catch for slip
  • 101 all out (34.4): Anderson lbw Rabada 0 - lbw on review first ball after being struck on the toe

Rabada wraps it up in style

Kagiso Rabada

Fittingly, the lithe paceman, in only his sixth Test match, took the final three wickets as England were skittled out before a drinks break was required.

That gave Rabada match figures of 13-144, the best by a South Africa bowler on home soil and the second-best in their history.

The man of the match, who was also the leading wicket-taker in the series, said: "It was a bit up and down so the key was the hit the deck and bowl the ball in a good area and I believed you'd get your rewards."

Best match figures for South Africa
13-132: Makhaya Ntini v West Indies, Port-of-Spain, 2005
13-144: Kagiso Rabada v England, Centurion, 2016
13-165: Hugh Tayfield v Australia, Melbourne, 1952
13-192: Hugh Tayfield v England, Johannesburg, 1957

'England have shown no heart' - what they said

Former England captain Michael Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special: "England have batted on a pitch with a bit of spice and they have shown no heart.

"It's almost like the white towel has been thrown in. It was a really feeble way to finish the tour."

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott: "Get your head down and save the match. But 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. That's not good enough."

'Limp' performance frustrates Cook

England captain Alastair Cook: "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. If you'd offered me 2-1 before the series I would have snapped your hand off."

Story of the series
1st Test, Durban: England won by 241 runs
2nd Test, Cape Town: Match drawn
3rd Test, Johannesburg: England won by seven wickets
4th Test, Centurion: South Africa won by 280 runs

Stats you may have missed

  • England's second lowest total in South Africa (92 in 1899 is the lowest)
  • South Africa ended a run of nine Tests without a win, which was their worst since 1965
  • The 280-run margin is their second highest in terms of runs against England
  • India leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani, who took 16 on his debut at 19 years and 85 days in 1988, is the only bowler younger than Rabada to take 13 or more wickets in a Test

What next for England?

England face a South Africa Invitation XI in a warm-up game on Saturday before a five-match one-day series against South Africa gets under way on 3 February.

Proteas pace bowler Dale Steyn will play no part in the ODI campaign as he continues his recovery from the shoulder injury which kept him out of the third and fourth Tests.

The sides also meet in two Twenty20 internationals on 19 and 21 February.

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

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