LONDON – South Africa were bowled out for 252 midway through the afternoon session here on Monday, losing the third Test to England by 239 runs.
England will take a 2-1 lead into the final Test starting at Old Trafford in Manchester on Friday after off-spinner Moeen Ali wrapped up the match claiming a hat-trick.
The first of Moeen’s victims was the gutsy Dean Elgar, who was caught at first slip by Ben Stokes.
Elgar scored 136 – the third highest score by a South African in the fourth innings of a Test – in over five-and-a-half hours, facing 228 balls and hitting 20 fours.
Kagiso Rabada was out in similar fashion to Elgar, also edging to Stokes at slip off the last ball of Moeen’s 16th over.
Keshav Maharaj, who finished unbeaten on 24, blocked out an over from Stokes, before Moeen returned to trap Morné Morkel lbw, although that decision had to be referred after umpire Joel Wilson had given the batsman not out.
Moeen is the first English bowler to claim a hat-trick since Stuart Broad did so against Sri Lanka at Headingley in 2014.
The end for the Proteas came very quickly after they’d resumed on the lunch-time score of 205/7.
Maharaj struck some lusty blows, but it was always going to be a test once the second new ball came into play. Moeen ensured that wasn’t necessary.
There will be plenty for South Africa to ponder ahead of the final Test as they seek to stave off their first series defeat since losing to England on home soil in the summer of 2015/16.
The win also ensured England retained the Basil D’Oliveira Trophy.