South Africa Inflict Innings Defeat On England
South Africa underlined their dominance of the final four days of the opening Test against England at the Kia Oval by completing an innings-and-12-run win before tea on day five.
England, who resumed on 102 for four in their second innings, were dismissed for 240, failing to make South Africa bat again despite Ian Bell scoring a half-century.
South Africa's comprehensive margin of victory was set up by Hashim Amla's unbeaten score of 311 in their only innings of 637 for two declared as they inflicted an innings defeat on England for the first time since 2009.
With England knowing they had to effectively bat out the day to save the game, they started competently enough with Bell and Ravi Bopara patiently seeing off the first attacks from the tourists.
Bell looked the more assured and shortly after Bopara left a delivery that almost shaved his off stump, he bottom-edged Dale Steyn onto his stumps having made 22 in 55 balls.
Bell was dropped by AB de Villiers off Imran Tahir and didn't offer another chance until his eventualy dismissal with the score on 210, and by then victory for South Africa looked inevitable.
First Bell struck up an 86-run partnership with Prior, who scored 40 in 86 balls before an error in judgement and an attempted sweep out of the rough saw him caught by Jacques Kallis off Tahir.
Bell edged Steyn to Kallis as the new ball did the trick for the Proteas and his innings, which spanned 220 balls, came to a close, and with it went any chance of England pulling off a great escape.
There had been no addition to the score when Stuart Broad (0) gloved Steyn to de Villiers and Graeme Swann then drove Steyn to Alviro Petersen at cover for seven.
Tim Bresnan, who was unbeaten on 20, fought hard to protect his hitherto unbeaten record in Test match criket but that went when James Anderson was trapped in front by Tahir for four.
Steyn finished with figures of five for 56 and Tahir three for 63 as Alastair Cook's century on day one and England closing on 267 for three appeared like a distant memory.
With this win, South Africa take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series and move to Headingley, the venue where they thrashed England by ten wickets in 2008, for the second Test which begins on 2nd August.
© Cricket World 2012
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