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Smith guides South Africa to series victory
Richard Sydenham | August 03, 2008 00:18 IST
South Africa, set 281 to win the third Test and with it the four-match series after they went 1-0 up at Headingley, reached 283 for five in fading light on day four after the pendulum had swung both ways.
Mark Boucher [Images] hit 45 in a crucial stand of 112 with his skipper.
The Proteas claimed their first series win in England since 1965, though they did not play international cricket from 1970 to 1991 because of the country's isolation. They surrendered series leads in 1994, 1998 and 2003.
England had gone six years without losing a Test series at home until India won in 2007 and now they have lost their second at home in the last three.
Captain Smith was a doubt coming in to the match because of a back injury but elected to play with pain-killing tablets to ease his discomfort. His 16th Test century, scored in 246 balls, and fourth against England steered his team home.
South Africa started brightly when reaching 65 for no loss but they slumped to 93 for four.
Smith batted fluently throughout, though he did enjoy moments of fortune. When on 74, he played no stroke to a ball from Panesar that turned square and would have hit middle stump but umpire Aleem Dar saved him.
On 79 he should have been run out when Ian Bell [Images], standing over the wickets, failed to catch a throw bounced in from wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose. Smith was yards short.
His luck continued when on 85. Replays suggested he got a deflection off his glove from Panesar to Ambrose, but half-hearted appeals from England failed to convince Dar to send him to the pavilion.
Next ball Smith chose to be more aggressive and swept towards the midwicket boundary where James Anderson [Images] was fielding, but the ball bounced once before it reached him.
Earlier, Friday's batting hero Paul Collingwood [Images] took his overnight century on to 135 before he was the last man out as England lost their last three wickets for two runs.
Ryan Sidebottom (22), at least, did put up some fight with his eighth-wicket partnership of 65 with Collingwood. Morne Morkel finished with 4-97.
The fourth Test, now a dead game, starts at The Oval on Thursday.
(Editing by Ken Ferris)
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