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South Africa Becomes world Number 1: Test Cricket


South Africa Becomes world  Number 1: Test Cricket
South Africa displaced England at the top of the Test rankings with a 51-run victory in the third Test at Lord's to secure a 2-0 victory in the series. It was a thoroughly merited victory by a side that had dominated the series but England, forced by desperate circumstances to play with daring, went down with a spirit that for a partisan crowd made their failure easier to bear.
For South Africa's captain, Graeme Smith, there must have been just a few flutters of doubt before the greatest triumph of his formidable reign was confirmed and he received the mace from the ICC chief executive, Dave Richardson. He has had too many disappointments for there not to be. It was appropriate that the moment he knew victory must belong to South Africa was when Matt Prior was ninth out for 73 and he plunged for the red ball at first slip with hands like an apple catcher.

South Africa 309 (Philander 61, Duminy 61, Finn 4-75) and 351 (Amla 121, Finn 4-74) beat England 315 (Bairstow 95, Bell 58, Morkel 4-80, Steyn 4-94) and 294 (Prior 73, Trott 63, Bairstow 54, Philander 5-30) by 51 runs

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