Proteas Broad-sided and lose top ranking


South Africa's run at the top of Test cricket's rankings came to an end on Saturday, as they collapsed in dramatic fashion to lose the third Test against England by seven wickets on day three.

As such, England secured the series two-nil with two days and one more match to play, and India have now become the top ranked Test side, even if the Proteas pull back a win at Centurion.

It was a day of massive contrasts for the hosts, as they bowled England out for 323 and Kagiso Rabada bagged his maiden five-fer. So England had a lead of only 10 runs as South Africa went in to bat again before lunch.

They were then demolished by paceman Stuart Broad, who took five very quick wickets, and England bagged eight wickets in the afternoon session, as the Proteas were bowled out for a paltry 83.

Broad ended with superb figures of 6/17. England thus needed only 74 to win, and they did so in under 23 overs. Alastair Cook made 43 but was out with three runs to go, so James Taylor and Joe Root wrapped it up.

The day began with England still batting in their first innings, with Root and Jonny Bairstow already set overnight. They were five down for 238, and Root had already recorded his century.

He was only able to add a few runs though and made 110, which turned out to be the top score of the match by far, before he fell to Rabada. Bairstow then watched the rest of the innings from the other end, making his way to 45.

Moeen Ali was dismissed by Chris Morris, thanks to a brilliant diving catch from Dane Vilas behind the stumps. Moeen got an inside edge, so the ball deviated away from Vilas, but he changed direction and took it one-handed.

Rabada also clean-bowled Broad, before he took the final wicket of the innings too. Bairstow got the top edge going for a pull, and Stiaan van Zyl took the catch at mid on.

The Proteas would have been very happy with that effort, an almost par score, but they did not account for a fiery Broad. The paceman, who has now taken five wickets in a spell seven times in his career, ripped through the top order.

Only four batsmen were able to reach double figures, with Rabada making the top score of just 16, as Broad reduced them to five for 35 inside 18 overs. It was an incredible spell of bowling, and none could flourish.

Ben Stokes got two wickets to break the monopoly, while Steve Finn took Vilas' wicket and James Anderson bagged Hardus Viljoen. The Proteas only narrowly managed to avoid their lowest innings score, the 79 they made in India recently.

So a match that seemed set for five exciting days ended in three, as Hales and Cook kept calm at the start. The former was unable to see out the game though, as he was trapped LBW by Dean Elgar for 18.

Nick Compton was out for a duck, leaving Root to finish things up with the skipper, but the latter fell agonisingly short. He was caught behind off Morris as the weather threatened… but not enough.