x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Swann puts Proteas to the sword

England took just 73 minutes on the final day to wrap up the second Test and seal a hugely impressive victory.

England celebrate the wicket of Dale Steyn yesterday.
England celebrate the wicket of Dale Steyn yesterday.

KINGSMEAD // In the end, there was to be no concerns with time or the weather. England took just 73 minutes on the final day to wrap up the second Test and seal a hugely impressive victory. Graeme Swann was once again the hero, taking two more wickets to complete his second five-for in the series and claim match figures of nine for 164.

Stuart Broad was denied a place on the Kingsmead honours board but ended the innings of South Africa's last remaining recognised batsman, Mark Boucher, to claim four for 43. The comprehensive victory over South Africa, by an innings and 98 runs, was England's first in Durban since December 1964, and also the first time they had beaten the Proteas by an innings since that date. It was a cloudy morning but not the kind that threatens cricket matches. It quickly became clear that it was a question of if and not when England would wrap things up after Swann and Broad had set things up with a sensational period of bowling on Tuesday.

Morne Morkel came out with a clear positive intent, pulling Broad for four in the first over of the day. The strapping left-hander then edged Swann just past Andrew Strauss at slip but England did not have long to wait for the breakthrough. Just like he had on three of the previous six days of the series, Swann picked up a wicket in his first over of the day. The spinner's lbw appeal against Morkel was plumb and the left-handed batsman had to go, without any remaining appeals left anyway.

Paul Harris continued where Morkel left off - wanting to show the Proteas still had some fight left in him - and the South African spinner cut Broad for four, first ball. But the hosts' last chance of major resistance ended when Boucher departed for 29. The wicketkeeper clearly gloved Broad down the leg-side to Matt Prior, but England were only awarded the decision on a referral after Amiesha Saheba had originally been unmoved by their appeal.

Swann was denied an even better day - what would have been a sixth wicket of the innings and tenth of the match - when he had an lbw appeal against Dale Steyn turned down. England decided not to refer Aleem Dar's decision although HawkEye proved that it would have been out. Harris continued to play positively but survived plenty of fortune, edging Swann just past Strauss for four before placing just short of Jonathan Trott at mid-wicket.

The South Africa spinner hit a Swann full toss to the boundary but soon departed for 36, the hosts' top score in their innings, when he got a leading edge off James Anderson to Broad at mid-on. The last rites were called for the Proteas and Swann delightfully finished things off, trapping Dale Steyn lbw for three to claim his 14th wicket of the series so far. Swann earned his second straight man-of-the-match award after another outstanding display, his brief attacking cameo of 22 off 14 in the first innings setting up an all -guns-blazing bowling display.

"It's gone really well for me in the two Tests," he said. "With a four-man attack I was expected to do the donkey work so it's nice to pick up a few wickets along the way. Two man of the match awards? I'll take that." And the Nottinghamshire spinner paid a glowing tribute to his captain who has helped him to break through in 2009. "Straussy has brought a very phlegmatic, laid-back, approachable way of doing things just makes it a happy environment to play in," said Swann.

"You're never looking over your shoulder or wondering what he thinks and you can always have a laugh with the captain. "The easiest thing to do is captain a team when everyone likes you and we all like Straussy. "It's been a bit of a dream the last 12 months and I'm not going to complain. I've waited a long time to get back into Test cricket and I'm enjoying every moment of it. "In the first innings I thought I had a chance of five (wickets) but then Dale Steyn kept hitting me out of the ground, but that happens sometimes when you're a spinner.

"I didn't expect to do as much bowling as I have, but the pitches have been slower than we expected and have turned more." sports@thenational.ae