England v SA, 3rd Investec Test, Lord's, 5th day

Philander stars, Steyn struggles

Stats highlights from a riveting final day at Lord's

S Rajesh

August 20, 2012

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Vernon Philander appeals for lbw against Alastair Cook, England v South Africa, 3rd Investec Test, Lord's, 4th day, August 19, 2012
Vernon Philander has won four Man-of-the-Match awards in only ten Tests © Getty Images
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  • For the first time in nine series between the two teams since South Africa's readmission, the margin for the winning team was more than one Test. On eight previous occasions, the series were either drawn (1-1 or 2-2), or one of the teams won by a 1-0 or 2-1 margin. Also, this was the first time during this period that one of these two teams won two series without the other winning one in between: South Africa had won in England in 2008 as well, while the series in South Africa in 2009-10 was drawn.

  • Lord's continues to be a stronghold for South Africa. In their last five Tests, dating back to 1994, they've won four times and drawn once. England, meanwhile, suffered their first Lord's Test defeat since 2005, when Australia beat them by 239 runs. In 13 matches after that defeat and before this game, England won six and drew seven.

  • After slightly disappointing returns in the first two Tests of the series, Vernon Philander was back at his best, taking his seventh five-for in ten matches. His career tally is 63 wickets at 15.96. It's also his fourth Man-of-the-Match award in ten Tests, which puts him in joint tenth position in the all-time list for South Africa. He is already level with Hashim Amla, who has won four in 62 Tests, AB de Villiers (77 Tests) and Ashwell Prince (66).

  • England's resistance was led by Matt Prior, who improved his Lord's stats to 762 runs in 16 innings at an average of 54.42, with three hundreds and as many fifties. Prior's tally is the highest by an England wicketkeeper at one venue, and the third-highest by any wicketkeeper. Only Andy Flower has scored more runs than Prior at a ground: he has 1403 runs in Harare and 778 in Bulawayo.

  • England's total of 294 is their third-highest in the fourth innings of a Lord's Test. Their only 300-plus total was against West Indies in 1988, when they scored 307 in a losing cause. Their run rate of 3.54 is the seventh-highest in the fourth innings of a Lord's Test (with a 50-over cut-off).

  • Jonny Bairstow's 47-ball 54 is the second-fastest 50-plus score in the fourth innings by an England batsman (for all matches for which balls-faced data is available). The quickest is Graham Gooch's 42-ball 54 against Australia in Sydney in 1991.

  • Dale Steyn finished with five wickets in the match, but struggled for wickets yet again in the fourth innings, taking 1 for 61. Over his entire career, Steyn has taken only 26 fourth-innings wickets in 17 innings, at an average of 33.50. That's a huge contrast to his stats in the other innings: he averages 22.03 in the first innings, 24.41 in the second, and 21.27 in the third. In his last eight fourth-innings efforts, he has taken five wickets at 77.80.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. Follow him on Twitter

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S Rajesh Stats editor Every week the Numbers Game takes a look at the story behind the stats, with an original slant on facts and figures. The column is edited by S Rajesh, ESPNcricinfo's stats editor in Bangalore. He did an MBA in marketing, and then worked for a year in advertising, before deciding to chuck it in favour of a job which would combine the pleasures of watching cricket and writing about it. The intense office cricket matches were an added bonus.
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