Unplayable Broad inspires England to series victory


Stuart Broad produced a devastating spell after lunch to set England up for an seven-wicket win in the third Test and seal a series victory against South Africa.

Broad has developed a reputation for consistently delivering match-winning performances with the ball, and Saturday's display at the Wanderers was one the Proteas had no answer to.

The Test was firmly in the balance when England garnered a first-innings lead of just 10, but Broad's incredible spell - which at one stage saw him take 5-1 from 31 deliveries - put the tourists in position to seal victory and a 2-0 scoreline with one to play.

Broad accounted for Dean Elgar, Stiaan van Zyl, AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla and Temba Bavuma as the Proteas tumbled to 35-5, before Ben Stokes, Steven Finn and James Anderson all chipped in to roll the hosts out for 83.

Fittingly, it was Broad who took the final wicket of Faf du Plessis, completing a stunning return catch to finish with figures of 6-17 from 12.1 overs.

That left England a straightforward target of 74 for victory and, despite the loss of Alex Hales, Nick Compton and Alastair Cook, the tourists sealed the series ahead of the fourth and final Test at Centurion, which begins on Friday.

England had resumed day three 75 runs behind with five wickets remaining, but any hopes of attaining a significant lead suffered a huge blow when century-maker Joe Root fell in the second full over of the day.

Root had made 106 on Friday, but added just four to that score before edging behind off Kagiso Rabada.

Moeen Ali (19) followed in similar fashion off Chris Morris (1-71) - Dane Vilas taking a fine one-handed catch - before Broad (12) was cleaned up by Rabada and Finn (0) gloved behind off Morne Morkel (3-76).

Jonny Bairstow was the last man out for 45 as he skied a chance off Rabada, who finished with a maiden five-for in Tests, claiming 5-78.

South Africa survived an uncomfortable period before lunch but after the interval Broad took over, having Elgar (15), Van Zyl (11) and De Villiers (0) all caught behind the wicket.

He was then helped out by James Taylor, who took a superb catch at short-leg to dismiss Amla for five, before Bavuma was bowled without scoring while trying to leave the ball.

Vilas was next to fall to Finn (1-14) - courtesy of another stunning catch from Taylor under the helmet - and Stokes (2-24) picked up Morris (1) and Rabada (16) prior to tea.

Hardus Viljoen (6) was trapped lbw by Anderson (1-26) and it was left to Broad to round things off, diving low to claim an excellent chance just above the turf to oust Du Plessis.

Despite the loss of three late wickets with the total in sight, England were never in danger of throwing away their strong position as Cook's men sealed a first away series win since 2012.