England vs South Africa 4th Test Day 4: England win series 3-1 behind Moeen’s five-for

England celebrate after winning the series 3-1

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England all-rounder Moeen Ali took a five-wicket haul to not only hand his side a 177-run win over South Africa at Old Trafford, but also lead them to a 3-1 series win.

Thanks to Moeen, England ended a 19-year drought as they last won a Test series against South Africa on home soil back in 1998.

Starting off the day on 224/8, England lost their last two wickets in quick succession and ended up being bowled out for 243, which set South Africa a target of 380 to win.

Morne Morkel was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Duanne Olivier took three, Kagiso Rabada got two and Keshav Maharaj chipped in with one.

Chasing 380 to win, the Proteas were dealt two quick blows as Stuart Broad and James Anderson dismissed Dean Elgar and Heino Kuhn for five and 11 runs respectively.

Things went from bad to worse for South Africa on the stroke of lunch as Temba Bavuma was caught behind off the bowling of Toby Roland-Jones for 12.

With South Africa struggling at 40/3, Hashim Amla and captain Faf du Plessis kept England at bay for a while as they amassed a 123-run partnership, during which Amla sailed past his fifty.

Amla struck his 35th half-century in Test cricket

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He went on to make 83 off 159 balls, which included 13 boundaries and a six, before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Moeen.

Moeen then proceeded to take out Quinton de Kock and Theunis de Bruyn in the space of three balls.

Du Plessis, who kept on fighting till this point, ended up scoring 61 off 85 deliveries, which included eight boundaries.

Du Plessis scored his 14th Test fifty

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With Anderson removing Rabada for one run, Moeen finished things off by getting rid of Morkel and Olivier in successive deliveries.

Moeen was easily the most successful bowler with five wickets, while Anderson snapped up three. Broad and Roland-Jones, meanwhile, claimed one wicket each.

Moeen became just the second player in history behind Sir Richard Hadlee to score 250 runs and take at least 20 wickets in a four-Test series

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Du Plessis was disappointed to have lost, and said: “First of all, congratulations to Joe and the England team, they were deserved winners, consistently the better team. It’s been a tough few months in England. We came over for the one-day series, ahead of the Champions Trophy, which was disappointing. In the Tests, at times we showed really good fight but England were consistently coming up with answers. It’s a combination of things, the quality of the England attack was superb, they were relentless and we couldn’t get on top them.

“From a runs point of view we didn’t so ourselves justice. And then we dropped some catches, particularly in this match. You have to take those half-chances to compete. The great thing about England is they almost have an extra player they can call on, they’ve got balance with the all-rounders. The way Mo and Jonny [Bairstow] played, they just take the game away from you. [Injuries and selection] Most frustrating, Vernon Philander is probably the most important bowler in these conditions, and then with balance, it is always about playing either seven batters or four seamers.

“It’s a great place to tour, we love coming here, we were very proud coming over. The last team became No. 1 in the world here, we knew it would be tough but the consistency wasn’t there.”

England skipper Joe Root was thrilled to have won the series 3-1, and said: “I’m really pleased with the way the series has gone. They put us under pressure a number of times but the way the guys responded was exceptional. [Nervous moments?] We knew it was a lot of runs, the partnership with Faf and Hash put us under pressure but, as we have all series, we bounced back strong, made opportunities and tried to take them. [Broad and Anderson] They are fabulous, they’ve been doing that for a number of years and are still going strong.

“Throughout we’ve had to overcome a number of difficult challenges, but the way we’ve done so has been brilliant. Hard work to do in the future but it’s looking good. [Balance of side?] Important to look at conditions and assess, the way we’ve played in the last two games we’ve looked really dangerous. Great to have guys who can contribute with bat and ball. [Beating SA for first time at home since 1998] Very proud moment, throughout we’ve put in the performances and that’s what it takes the win series like this.”

Moeen was named Man of the Match, and said: “[Good crowd] “It helps a lot when you’re out there. [Faf and Amla stand] They played very well, two world-class players, I was trying to be patient, we knew one wicket would be crucial. Great pitch to bowl on, especially today, landing it in a good area you get the reward. In general they’ve been good wickets.

“[Innings last night?] I just felt like we needed that, so I went out and played a few shots. [Batting at No. 8?] Yeah, you have that licence and to contribute with your bowling. [No2 spinner?] It’s taken the pressure off me, I’ve done a lot of work with Saqi and Gibbo.”

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