England Lose Number One Spot in Thrilling Series
England fought manfully to the last man. But in the end they still relinquished top spot in the world test rankings to a superior South African side. England lost by 51 runs. A tantalisingly close target.
On the final day Matt Prior held on for all he was worth - surviving numerous close calls. His 73 was a thrilling innings. He was even called back from the pavilion when Morne Morkel’s take of his wicket was revealed to be a no ball.
Prior put together fine partnerships with Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.
But Vernon Philander took 5-30 eventually bowling Prior followed by Finn on his next ball to close out a thrilling test series from the two best test nations in the world.
He was deservedly man of the match. And Prior, likewise deservedly, was England’s man of the series.
England had a tough time holding onto their number one status throughout their reign. And even if this series ends with question marks surrounding Captain Andrew Strauss’ future; there is still plenty to look forward to.
They have the defence of their world T20crown just over the horizon. Not to mention an ODI series with South Africa in the meantime.
There will be some people scratching their heads that the schedule does not permit these two sides to meet again for three years. They are patently the best two sides in the world and more encounters between the best sides are what the fans want. Even if complaints about the tough England schedule are already reaching a crescendo.
Strauss is off on holiday. He has his own future to think about. Not to mention the farce and furore surrounding Kevin Pietersen. The Pietersen saga may be on pause, but it’s not going away while England’s best player lays sidelined. Even if he was out for a golden duck for Surrey yesterday.
Remember you can watch the One day series with South Africa and the ICC world T20 live on your computer or mobile with Sky Sports streaming on SkyGo. Need a UK IP address? Click Here
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