England vs South Africa, 3rd Test at Birmingham, , Jul 30 2008 - Ball by Ball Commentary

3rd Test, Birmingham, July 30 - August 02, 2008, South Africa tour of England
231 & 363
(T:281) 314 & 283/5

South Africa won by 5 wickets

Player Of The Match
SA 2nd Innings
Full commentary
end of over 804 runs
SA: 283/5CRR: 3.53 
Graeme Smith154 (246b 17x4)
Mark Boucher45 (85b 5x4)
Kevin Pietersen 4-0-16-0
Monty Panesar 33-3-91-2

Well, what a fantastic Test this has been at Edgbaston, with South Africa coming out on top to take the series 2-0 and leave the Oval match a dead rubber. It's the first time since 1965 they have defeated England in a series on English soil and they are worthy winners. Ntini takes a stump now and starts dancing around. Here's Smith. "I don't know what to say. England made us really work hard for it today. We didn't bowl as well yesterday, their batters put the pressure on us. It's a proud day." Is this his best moment? "I've got some individual ones that mean a lot to me but for the team, what we've achieved, it's right up there. England made us fight for this one. If England had won this one the Oval might have been difficult for us. I'm just very happy." And so he should be, it's been a gutsy, gritty and fighting innings, a true captain's knock in the best sense. Thank you for joining us over the course of this Test and do tune in to see if England can salvage a win at the Oval in the fourth and final match next week. Till then, it's goodbye.

Pietersen to Smith, FOUR runs

but he does it finally! Smith pulls it round through midwicket and South Africa have the series! The players are invading the pitch now to start the celebrations, England's body language muted by contrast

Pietersen to Smith, no run

this is half-amusing, half-painful, Smith goes for it again

Pietersen to Smith, no run

on the legs, looks to push it to the legs

Pietersen to Smith, no run

pushed to the covers

Smiles all round, even from Smith

Pietersen to Smith, no run

that would have been a touch ignominous - Smith missing the half-tracker with a big whoosh

Pietersen to Smith, no run

round the wicket, pushed out to the covers and they don't risk it

So it's all eyes on Smith to see if he can finish things off for South Africa now. The team are huddled ready to celebrate winning the game and the series - they've not won a series in England since 1965.

end of over 792 runs
SA: 279/5CRR: 3.53 
Mark Boucher45 (85b 5x4)
Graeme Smith150 (240b 16x4)
Monty Panesar 33-3-91-2
Kevin Pietersen 3-0-12-0
Panesar to Boucher, no run

defended back down quickly into the turf

Panesar to Smith, 1 leg bye

a big appeal, not given, hit outside the line playing a shot, and they shuffle through for a leg-bye

Panesar to Smith, no run

and he goes for it! Down on one knee and sends his team's hearts into their mouths there as he completely misses the sweep. That's the only tension remaining

It would be fitting if Smith could knock off the runs

Panesar to Boucher, 1 run

gets right over the ball to kill the spin with a front-foot defence now

Panesar to Boucher, no run

on middle, closes the face on it on the back foot and works it out to short midwicket

Panesar to Boucher, no run

outside off, bounces up and he plays it back down into the short-cover region

South Africa are on the brink of the series. Here comes Panesar

end of over 786 runs
SA: 277/5CRR: 3.55 
Mark Boucher44 (81b 5x4)
Graeme Smith150 (238b 16x4)
Kevin Pietersen 3-0-12-0
Monty Panesar 32-3-90-2
Pietersen to Boucher, 1 run

forced out off the legs to midwicket

Smiles breaking out on the balcony now

Pietersen to Boucher, FOUR runs

...but his patience pays off as Pietersen offers plenty of width to cut out through point

Pietersen to Boucher, no run

full toss, forced out to midwicket where it's half-stopped which is enough for now

Pietersen to Boucher, no run

full ball now, Boucher shovel-scoops it ot he leg side without danger

Pietersen to Boucher, no run

gets right over it, plays on the front foot, creeping it out to short square

Pietersen to Smith, 1 leg bye

some loop and turn back in and worked behind gully to take South Africa's required runs to single figures

The light is closing in, so is the win, and so is Pietersen who has been handed the ball

end of over 773 runs
SA: 271/5CRR: 3.51 
Graeme Smith150 (237b 16x4)
Mark Boucher39 (76b 4x4)
Monty Panesar 32-3-90-2
Andrew Flintoff 20-5-72-2

Superb innings from Smith, his 6th Test score of 150 or more. This is from 237 deliveries with 16 fours and it's been an excellent knock, the hundred partnership also coming up between this pair. What a contribution from Smith, fighting all the way and he is in sight of taking it home for his side to win the series.

Panesar to Smith, 1 run

width outside off, comes back in to him and he works it over to square

Panesar to Smith, 2 runs

driven out wide of mid off, Pietersen scrambles round as fast as he can and leans out to cut it off with a tumble