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

  • England captain Alastair Cook, right, plans to rebuild England alongside new head coach Peter Moores, left.

    Alastair Cook insists he and returning head coach Peter Moores will be free to forge a new England without undue influence from Andy Flower.

  • Gary Ballance was in superb form on day one at Headingley

    England hopeful Gary Ballance smashed an unbeaten century as Yorkshire took control of their LV= County Championship clash with Northamptonshire.

  • Mike Watkinson, pictured, was not surprised to see Peter Moores move on

    Lancashire director of cricket Mike Watkinson knew Peter Moores was too ambitious to spend the rest of his career at Old Trafford but admits the timing of his appointment as England coach has been tricky.

  • Eoin Morgan, pictured, has hailed the support given to him by England outcast Kevin Pietersen

    Kevin Pietersen's former England team-mates continue to offer contrasting testimony about the help, or otherwise, he has given them.

  • The convalescing Jonathan Trott, pictured, has the support of his Ashes antagonist David Warner

    Australia batsman David Warner hopes Jonathan Trott can recover from his anxiety issues and return to cricket at the top level.

  • Peter Moores has left Lancashire to coach England

    Peter Moores is confident he will make the most of his second chance to coach England.

  • ECB managing director Paul Downton has stressed England are moving on without Kevin Pietersen, pictured

    Kevin Pietersen, and his supporters, can no longer be in the slightest doubt that he will ever play for England again - after the clearest of management statements at Lord's.

  • Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from cricket

    Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness.

  • Ben Stokes is currently injured

    Ben Stokes will have to remain patient before he can start to make up for time he has lost due to a self-inflicted injury.

  • Gary Kirsten believes more coaches will opt for the IPL over Test cricket

    Gary Kirsten believes that the all-year demands of international coaching may lead many to look for employment in tournaments such as the Indian Premier League, rather than pursue Test cricket jobs.

  • Alastair Cook believes county players have an excellent chance to advance their claims for a Test spot

    England captain Alastair Cook has admitted the team's recent struggles mean there are "quite a few places up for grabs".

  • Ed Joyce's Sussex are the early leaders in LV= County Championship Division One

    Captain Ed Joyce's second century of the match carried Sussex to victory number two, over Warwickshire at Edgbaston, and into an early lead in the new LV= County Championship Division One season.

  • Ben Stokes is hoping to put his troubles behind him

    Ben Stokes is learning the hard way, for the second time in his life, that he must keep his anger under control if he is to make the most of his outstanding natural talent.

  • Marcus Trescothick is understanding of Jonathan Trott's situation

    Stricken England batsman Jonathan Trott has been told the door is always open for advice and support by one of the few men able to empathise with his current malaise, Marcus Trescothick.

  • Sam Robson's century enhanced his England chances

    England hopeful Sam Robson has targeted more big scores for Middlesex to strengthen his claim to international selection this summer.