3rd Test, Birmingham, Jul 30 - Aug 2 2008, South Africa tour of England
231 & 363
(80 ov, target 281)314 & 283/5
South Africa won by 5 wickets
player of the match
Graeme Smith
South Africa
• The Bulletin by Andrew McGlashan

Smith leads South Africa to historic series victory

Graeme Smith produced a performance that will go down in South Africa sporting history with an unbeaten 154, one of the finest centuries in a run chase, to guide his side to a series win against England

Match centre 
Scorecard summary
England231/10(77 overs)1st INNINGS
Alastair Cook76 (125)
Ian Bell50 (98)
Andre Nel3/47(17)
South Africa314/10(90.2 overs)1st INNINGS
England363/10(98.2 overs)2nd INNINGS
Morne Morkel4/97(19.2)
Paul Harris2/60(21)
South Africa283/5(80 overs)2nd INNINGS
end of over 804 runs
SA: 283/5CRR: 3.53 
Graeme Smith154 (246)
Mark Boucher45 (85)
Kevin Pietersen4-0-16-0
Monty Panesar33-3-91-2

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 (85)
Graeme Smith150 (240)
Monty Panesar33-3-91-2
Kevin Pietersen3-0-12-0
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 (81)
Graeme Smith150 (238)
Kevin Pietersen3-0-12-0
Monty Panesar32-3-90-2
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 (237)
Mark Boucher39 (76)
Monty Panesar32-3-90-2
Andrew Flintoff20-5-72-2

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

Best performances - batters
Graeme Smith
GC Smith SA
154 runs (246)
17 fours
0 six
Productive shot
leg glance
42 runs
2 fours
0 six
Paul Collingwood portrait
PD Collingwood ENG
135 runs (195)
19 fours
1 six
Productive shot
leg glance
46 runs
3 fours
0 six
Best performances - bowlers
Andrew Flintoff portrait
A Flintoff ENG
Morne Morkel portrait
M Morkel SA
Match details
Edgbaston, Birmingham
TossEngland, elected to bat first
SeriesSouth Africa tour of England
Player Of The Match
Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith
Series resultSouth Africa led the 4-match series 2-0
Match numberTest no. 1883
Hours of play (local time)11am start, Lunch 13.00-13.40, Tea 15.40-16.00, Close 18.00
Match days30,31 July, 1,2 August 2008 - day(5-day match)
Pakistan Image
Aleem Dar
Australia Image
Steve Davis
TV Umpire
England Image
Ian Gould
Reserve Umpire
England Image
Rob Bailey
Match Referee
Sri Lanka Image
Ranjan Madugalle