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December 30, 2009
England 574 for 9 dec (Bell 140, Cook 118) beat South Africa 343 (Kallis 75, Smith 75) and 133 (Swann 5-54) by an innings and 98 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
England's cricketers needed just 18 overs on the final morning at Durban to wrap up a thumping innings-and-98-run victory in the second Test, as South Africa's tail crumbled under the sheer weight of scoreboard pressure bearing down on them following the team's desperate performance on the fourth evening. Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad were once again the stand-out performers, as they shared nine of the ten wickets in the innings, with Swann claiming the spoils with 5 for 54 in 21 overs.
South Africa resumed their fight on 76 for 6, with Mark Boucher and Morne Morkel entrenched in a 26-run stand for the seventh wicket, and though Morkel pulled Broad with some confidence through midwicket for the first boundary of the day, he was unable to deal with the wiles of Swann, who continued once again his extraordinary penchant for striking early in a spell.
In total, Morkel faced three deliveries from Swann, and might have been dismissed by the lot. The first was tossed up from round the wicket and spun sharply past his edge. The second was snicked to slip, where Andrew Strauss - deputising in that position for the injured Paul Collingwood - couldn't get a hand on the chance. The third, however, was the perfect follow-up. Fuller, flatter, and faster, and Morkel barely moved his pad before he'd been pinned lbw for 15.
Paul Harris was the next man in, and he received a rough reception from Broad in particular, who sensed a vulnerability to the short ball, and tested it to the max with a barrage of lifters that struck him variously on the chest, ribs and armpit. But he did his best to endure as he anchored himself on the back foot, and each of his first three fours came from steers through point off Broad, only one of which was genuinely involuntary.
The real body blow for South Africa's faint hopes occurred at the other end, however. Boucher is one of the best scrappers in world cricket, but the magnitude of this particular task proved to be beyond him. On 29, Broad fizzed a lifter down the leg-side, and there was an audible snick as the ball flew through to Matt Prior behind the stumps. Umpire Aleem Dar initially turned down the appeal, but Strauss and his team-mates were convinced, and the referred decision showed a clear deflection off the glove.
Harris did his best to hang in there, edging Swann through third man before cracking him more emphatically down the ground for another boundary, at which point Strauss decided it was time for a change. James Anderson entered the attack from the Umgeni End, and he needed only four balls to make the breakthrough, as Harris was deceived by late swing from a full length, and Broad - though denied a shot at a five-wicket haul - nevertheless made good ground at mid-off to scoop a low catch.
Instead the honour of the five-for went to Swann, the man who had set the collapse in motion before tea on the fourth day. Dale Steyn propped forward in front of off and was instantly sent on his way lbw for 3, and England's fielders hurtled from the field to begin their celebrations. The final Test of the decade had finished as a remarkable innings victory for England, their first in South Africa since 1964, as they set off to Cape Town with their spirits soaring and the series seemingly theirs to lose.