Updated: 24/07/2012 13:43 | By pa.press.net

England slump to innings defeat



Dale Steyn, second left, took five of England's second-innings wickets

Dale Steyn, second left, took five of England's second-innings wickets

Ian Bell's admirable resistance foundered against Dale Steyn as England descended to an innings defeat in the first Investec Test.

Bell (55) strove with great resolution and skill to try to make up for England's earlier deficiencies against South Africa at the Kia Oval.

However, Steyn (five for 56) administered the telling blows with the second new ball shortly before tea on the final day as the tourists bowled England out for 240 to win by an innings and 12 runs and go 1-0 up in the series.

Much damage was done to home aspirations at the start of this table-topping series by their first-innings batting and then an inability to contain South Africa's reply on a flat pitch. On the back of Hashim Amla's historic triple-century, and hundreds too from captain Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis, the tourists piled up an astonishing 637 for two declared.

World number ones England found themselves a vulnerable 102 for four, still 150 behind, as they resumed on a glorious morning. Bell tried to show some British backbone nonetheless. He dug in, and England retained hope of pulling off another famous rearguard.

This time, England were pinning initial hopes on remaining frontline batsmen Bell and Ravi Bopara. However, the fifth-wicket pair, who first joined forces on Sunday night, had just completed a 50 stand when Bopara got out in frustrating circumstances for the second time in the match to Steyn.

Bell appeared to be in for the long haul, though, dealing stoically with South Africa's powerful and multi-dimensional attack on a surface showing fifth-day wear and tear but by no means unplayable. While Bell and Matt Prior's sixth-wicket stand of 86 was intact, there was a feasibility about England's survival.

Yet just as English supporters were daring to dream, Prior picked the wrong option - stretching for a sweep at Tahir (three for 63) but only edging to slip. Bell could not get past the second new ball and Steyn, undone by movement away off the pitch, and the extra pace, with a delivery which appeared to slide off the face of the bat to Kallis at second slip.

Steyn doubled up with the wicket of Stuart Broad, caught-behind down the leg-side after a DRS procedure overturned Asad Rauf's initial not-out verdict. From 210 for eight, with no specialist batsmen left, it therefore appeared only the margin of England's defeat remained to be determined.

So it proved too, appropriate ultimately that the world's premier fast bowler should take three wickets for four runs to help close out South Africa's success and England lost their last five for only 37 on the way to 240 all out - a fair representation of the gulf between these two teams here.

15Comments
23/07/2012 19:32
avatar
Well done South Africa, great play and well deserved
23/07/2012 21:15
avatar
Very well played South Africa, your going to take some beating I think!!
23/07/2012 20:46
avatar
Well played South Africa , your South African players are better than the ones we have borrowed from you.
23/07/2012 22:44
avatar

I am a firm and committed England fan-but i can't argue with what i saw at this test match.

England were totally and completely flattened.It looks like SA are set to become the new number ones in test cricket and i think they will be far more convincing top dogs.

These South Africans have a mental toughness that reminds me very much of the Aussies of a few years ago.

Can't see England coming back from a humbling as bad as this.

avatar
 i fear for england in the other 2 tests, hopefully we can bounce back but south africa are awsome. 
24/07/2012 05:40
avatar
South Africa have done well. England have to do much better than this time, to keep the standard .
24/07/2012 07:32
avatar
Congratulations to South Africa, who are a real TEAM, firmly managed by their captain. England do not compare as a team as the captain is not a strong leader, unable to manage effectively the strong characters in the team. I consider that Peterson is not worthy of a place in the team as he is too inconsistent and appears to be an unsettling influence, which is not conducive for team spirit. Strauss himself may have to step down as he is inconsistent and his captaincy, when under pressure, is weak and ineffective. 
24/07/2012 05:48
avatar
England No.1 test side in the world? what a joke. South Africa handed out an innings defeat for the loss of two wickets. On our home soil to make it worse. Our Batsmen were pathetic except on the first day when SA bowlers were not loosened up, and our bowling, best in the world? i don't think so. I think we are in for a series defeat  3 - 0
avatar
same old same old come up against a team and crumble
24/07/2012 07:00
avatar

Well done England you did a lot better than i thought you would. Well done Graeme Smith, can you get rid of Strauss like you did the other two .

24/07/2012 15:09
avatar
Thank you all for your reply's about my earlier comment i can see your point.
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

latest cricket news

  • James Anderson completed a five-wicket haul, but was still not all smiles on his 32nd birthday

    England are on the verge of a first Test win for almost a year, but at close of play on his birthday James Anderson still seemed unable to resist a party-piece contretemps with the opposition.

  • James Anderson finished with a five-wicket haul on his 32nd birthday

    England were bang on course to end their long winless run with a first success in 11 Tests, as India stumbled in pursuit of a world-record run chase at the Ageas Bowl.

  • South Africa's Jacques Kallis has announced his full retirement from international cricket

    Jacques Kallis has been hailed as one of the greatest cricketers of all time after announcing his retirement from international cricket on Wednesday.

  • Steven Mullaney scored an unbeaten 63 and took two wickets in Nottinghamshire's victory

    Steven Mullaney and Ajmal Shahzad batted Nottinghamshire to an impressive three-wicket victory in the Royal London One-Day Cup against Glamorgan at Cardiff.

  • Ravindra Jadeja will be able to appeal against his fine from the ICC.

    India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been granted the opportunity to appeal against his International Cricket Council fine, for his part in a spat with England's James Anderson during the Trent Bridge Test.

  • Stuart Broad claimed three wickets for 65 runs on day three against India

    Stuart Broad senses a new beginning is under way for him and his England team-mates as they finally free themselves from the hangover of last winter's Ashes whitewash.

  • Yorkshire have terminated the contract of young bowler Oliver Robinson

    Yorkshire bowler Oliver Robinson has had his contract cancelled by the LV= County Championship leaders due to "a number of unprofessional actions".

  • Ramnaresh Sarwan is returning to the West Indies

    Leicestershire captain Ramnaresh Sarwan has left Grace Road to return to the West Indies due to a back injury, the county have announced.

  • Moeen Ali has been told by the ICC to stop wearing wristbands

    Moeen Ali must stop wearing his 'Save Gaza' and 'Free Palestine' wristbands while playing for England, the International Cricket Council has decided.

  • Will Gidman made an unbeaten 71 in Gloucestershire's victory

    Gloucestershire made Yorkshire pay for a below-par innings as they claimed their first win in the Royal London One-Day Cup by three wickets with 28 balls to spare at Headingley.

  • Kevin Pietersen has been playing for Surrey in the NatWest T20 Blast this summer

    Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has signed a two-year deal with Australia Twenty20 franchise the Melbourne Stars.

  • England's Alastair Cook  left  congratulates Joe Root on reaching his half century during day four of the Third Investec Test match at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

    Alastair Cook bagged his second half-century of the match before setting India a world-record chase of 445 to win the third Investec Test at the Ageas Bowl.

  • Hashim Amla's South Africa team held on to secure a 1-0 Test series win over Sri Lanka

    South Africa will go back to the top of the International Cricket Council Test rankings after some stubborn batting helped them to a hard-fought draw against Sri Lanka in Colombo.

  • David Sales will bring his near 20-year professional career to a close at the end of the season

    Northamptonshire batsman David Sales has announced he will bring his 19-year professional career to a close at the end of the season.

  • Phil Jaques, pictured front, has impressed for Nottinghamshire this season

    Former Australia batsman Phil Jaques has been released from the second year of his Nottinghamshire contract after being appointed assistant coach of New South Wales Blues.