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Kit Bag

Five classic final Tests between England and South Africa

  |  August 16, 2012

South Africa's Dale Steyn celebrates taking Graeme Swann's wicket in Johannesburg - he would take seven during the final test to secure a win. Pic: Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images
South Africa's Dale Steyn celebrates taking Graeme Swann's wicket in Johannesburg - he would take seven during the final test to secure a win. Pic: Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images

England take on South Africa in the final Test of their three-match series with South Africa starting today at Lord’s with the world No 1 ranking at stake. Given how competitive the two sides are, it is no surprise that there is usually something at stake between the pair.

Here are five classic final Tests between the two countries...

1994 South Africa led 1-0 going to The Oval in England but made the mistake of upsetting Devon Malcolm when he was struck on the helmet as he batted. “You guys are history” were the legendary words muttered by the fast bowler and he backed that up as he took nine for 57 to help England level the series with an eight-wicket triumph.

1996 After four drawn Tests the series was up for grabs in Cape Town. Malcolm went from hero to zero as some errant bowling helped South Africa’s last pair Dave Richardson and Paul Adams pile on another 73, which proved crucial as they prevailed by 10 wickets to win the series 1-0.

2000 This match at Centurion proved to be the downfall of Proteas captain Hansie Cronje. In a rain-delayed match, Cronje suggested to Nasser Hussain that both sides forfeit an innings to create a result. England went on to win by two wickets. It was revealed that Cronje had been paid to engineer a result.

2003 A majestic 183 by Herschelle Gibbs had seemingly put South Africa in charge as they scored 484 at The Oval in a match in which they only needed a draw to win the series. But 219 from Marcus Trescothick and 124 from Graham Thorpe allowed England to fight back and triumph by nine wickets to square things at 2-2.

2010 England had been fortunate to be 1-0 up going to Johannesburg, but that luck ran out as seven wickets each for Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel and a hundred from their captain Graeme Smith saw the hosts cruise to a win by an innings and 74 runs.