England beat South Africa by seven wickets in third Test to clinch series

Stuart Broad turned in another symphony of seam bowling to inspire England's series-clinching seven-wicket victory in the third Test against South Africa.

Sport360 staff
by Sport360 staff
16th January 2016

article:16th January 2016

Stuart Broad(C) celebrates the dismissal of South African batsman Faf du Plessis during day three.
Stuart Broad(C) celebrates the dismissal of South African batsman Faf du Plessis during day three.

Broad, whose magic spells are fast becoming one of the grandest sights in British sport, finished with his best overseas figures of six for 17 to roll the shell-shocked Proteas for 83 on day three in Johannesburg.

At one stage the 29-year-old had taken five wickets in 31 balls for just one run – and that off a dropped catch.

England required just 74 to take the series 2-0 with one to play, with captain Alastair Cook making 43 of them before his departure allowed Joe Root to score the winning runs.

Cook’s side may arrived here in sixth place but with a young, hungry and improving side they can have realistic designs on the summit themselves.

An early finish hardly seemed on the cards when the sides reconvened at the Wanderers after two enthralling, nip-and-tuck days, but Broad is a man capable of making things happen in a hurry.

His second success of the day saw him overtake Bob Willis’ 325 to become the country’s third highest wicket-taker, but as a purveyor of decisive moments England may never have had better.

South Africa started their second innings just 10 behind, but Broad’s afternoon assault shifted the ground beneath their feet.

The left-handed openers proved easy prey as he probed off stump from around the wicket.

Dean Elgar followed one as it nipped off the pitch and Stiaan van Zyl, having already been dropped at slip, popped a catch to gully after Broad persuaded one to straighten.

His third wicket was the big one, captain and star batsman AB de Villiers dismissed for a duck as a Broad in-cutter took a thick inside edge on its way into Jonny Bairstow’s gloves.

Despite catchers lining up in the cordon and gaps appearing all over the field, Broad proved impossible to score from.

The double centurion of Cape Town, Hashim Amla, was the next to fall at his hand, turning one off his pads and seeing James Taylor take a fine reaction catch low down at short-leg.

Taylor deserves a hearty slap on the back for his smart reactions, but he would have to accept being an extra in Broad’s show.

Temba Bavuma suffered a worse fate, weaving away from a short ball that failed to get up and cannoned into the stumps via a glove.

When Broad was finally persuaded to take a breather after 10 overs, the Proteas’ pain did not stop.

Taylor produced a second stunning catch under the helmet as Steven Finn dismissed Dane Vilas and Ben Stokes proved too good for Chris Morris and Kagiso Rabada.

Morris was castled by a gorgeous inswinger and Rabada, who had earlier taken a maiden five-wicket haul, handed Bairstow his ninth catch of the Test.

James Anderson belatedly joined the fun in his first over after the break, Hardus Viljoen trapped plumb lbw, but it was fitting for Broad to wrap things up.

He surprised Faf du Plessis with a rising delivery and flung himself forward to grab a diving return catch.

Elgar spared the hosts the ignominy of a 10-wicket defeat, prising out Alex Hales (18) and Nick Compton (nought), before Cook edged Morris with three required.

Root whipped Elgar for four to kick off the celebrations, having started the day in disappointment.

He had started the day 106 not out but added just four before becoming the first of 18 wickets.

That left Bairstow to make a crucial 45, dragging England to 323 and a slender lead.

He was last man out but his dogged knock left a platform that Broad sprung from in scintillating fashion.



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