LONDON: England returned to the Oval on Monday to speedily knock off the 33 runs required and win the deciding third Test against South Africa, completing a sweep of series victories this summer in a successful start to the new era under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.
Resuming on 97 without loss while chasing 130 to win, England took barely 25 minutes on the fifth and final day to seal a nine-wicket victory.
That clinched the series 2-1, to go with England’s 3-0 win over world Test champion New Zealand in June and its victory in a one-off match against India in July.
Opening batter Alex Lees was the only wicket to fall, getting trapped leg before wicket by Kagiso Rabada (1/57) for 39 in a successful review by the South Africans. Lees had earlier been dropped by wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne off Rabada.
Opener Zak Crawley carried England over the line and was unbeaten on 69 (57 balls, 12 fours) while Ollie Pope was also there at the finish on 11 not out, but only after paddle-sweeping Marco Jansen into the grille of his helmet.
BRIEF SCORES: South Africa 118 in 36.2 overs & 169 in 56.2 overs lost to England 158 in 36.2 overs & 130/1 in 22.3 overs (Z Crawley 69*).