England sealed a 3-1 Test series win with a 191 run win over South Africa at the Wanderers on Monday. Mark Wood bagged a five-for as the Proteas wilted to 274 all out, failing to pass the 300-run mark once again.
Despite winning the first Test in Centurion – albeit with the entire England team laid low by illness – the Proteas could not build on the positive start.
Of concern was South Africa’s batting. Even during their recent rout in India, the team managed to cobble together more than 300 runs on more than one occasion.
England engineered a dramatic heist in Cape Town, winning by 189 runs late on the final day. South Africa looked like they might pull of a great escape on that match, but capitulated from 171 for five to 248 all out.
In a rain-marred second Test in Port Elizabeth, England needed to bat only once, amassing 499 runs and winning by an innings and 53 runs. The Wanderers Test ebbed and flowed somewhat, but eventually followed the same trend.
The four-match series saw just three centuries – all of them scored by England’s players, but that statistic somewhat belies the lack of application shown by the home side.
South Africa vs England 2020: Centurions
Despite these woeful efforts, though, there were glimpses of hope for the Proteas.
South Africa vs England 2020: Most runs
Quinton de Kock finished as the top scorer of the series with 380 runs. He came agonisingly close to notching up a ton twice. But, as is so often the case with the wicketkeeper, seemingly lost his head.
Rassie van der Dussen, who made his debut in Centurion, also showed some grit. Van der Dussen scored a half-century on debut – the first player to score 50 on debut in all three formats – and fell two runs short of his maiden 100 in the final Test at the Wanderers.
South Africa vs England 2020: Most wickets
In the bowling department, Anrich Nortje – who at times looked more at ease with the bat than the batsmen – slotted in seamlessly into the South African attack, despite having only made his debut in India last year.
He finished as the leading wicket-taker in the series, a little bit of balm for the Proteas who said goodbye to stalwart Vernon Philander at the end of the series.