England beat South Africa by 9 wickets to wrap up series win

England wrap up a nine-wicket win against South Africa to take the series 2-1… as Ben Stokes’ side finish their spectacular Test summer in emphatic style

  • England resumed on Monday needing 33 more runs to beat South Africa 
  • They finished the job inside 30 minutes to claim the series victory
  • England have won six of their seven Test matches this summer under Ben Stokes 

England wrapped up a nine-wicket win to seal a 2-1 series victory against South Africa and complete a stunning first summer as Test captain for Ben Stokes.

Stokes took over having been part of a side that had won just one of their previous 17 matches in the longest format of the game, but under his leadership, and with new coach Brendon McCullum on the sidelines, England have undergone a remarkable transformation.

Compared to some of their memorable chases from this summer, their task on Monday was a straightforward one.

Zak Craley and Ollie Pope wrapped up a comprehensive victory for England on Monday

Alex Lees was the only man to fall for England as he was trapped lbw by Kagiso Rabada

After play was inexplicably called off on Sunday night with England needing just 33 to win, Alex Lees and Zak Crawley returned to finish the job.

Resuming on 97-0, Lees benefitted from another slice of luck when he was dropped by wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne in the first over of the day off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada. He was also dropped in the opening over of the innings by Marco Jansen on Sunday.

Lees continued to go hard at the ball, edging one over the slips in the next over as England moved closer to their target.

His luck eventually ran out in the third over when he was trapped lbw by Rabada – South Africa successfully reviewing after Lees had initially been given the benefit of the doubt.

Zak Cralwy finished unbeaten on 69, and hit some eye-catching drives on Monday morning

Ollie Pope picked up where he left off in the first innings as he helped Crawley finish the job

He even tried an audacious reverse scoop, but did not manage to pull it off successfully

This brought Ollie Pope to the crease fresh off the back of his first innings 67, and he looked in fine touch as he pulled Jansen away for his first boundary. Meanwhile, at the other end, Crawley continued on his merry way, drilling a drive through point to take England to within single figures of victory.

Pope was batting with such confidence that he attempted the reverse scoop that has become Joe Root’s trademark, only for the ball to end up cracking into his helmet.

It was left to Crawley to finish the match as he crunched a drive off the back foot to finish the match and the series in style. He ended unbeaten on 69 – an important knock after a difficult summer for the England opener.

Crawley and Pope congratulated each other after knocking off the winning runs

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