Brilliant Proteas Brush English Challenge Aside

South Africa’s reign as League Champions continues, following a highly impressive 2-0 away victory over a talented England team.  The hosts could have seized the Champions’ Mace for themselves had they defeated the Proteas, but the tourists’ all-round brilliance proved more than enough to secure their retention of the Mace as well as the Basil D’Oliveira Trophy.

The 1st Test ended in a crushing innings victory for South Africa, with Hashim Amla’s remarkable triple-century supported by tons from Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis as well as fine bowling from Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn.  After a drawn 2nd Test, Smith’s men were good enough in the 3rd to resist a feisty last-day comeback from the rattled English, winning nervily by 51 runs.

Coming into the series, England had harboured high hopes of defeating the South Africans, especially in view of their recent performances in home conditions.  However, both the English batting and bowling units underperformed as a whole, while the tourists sustained a level of performance that would have left sides far better than England struggling.  Alastair Cook’s newly led squad now face the unenviable challenge of defending the Pataudi Trophy in India.

Excitingly, South Africa have now earned the chance to become only the second nation to win the Grand Slam Trophy, when they fly to Australia in November.  However, if they were to lose the series then they would relinquish their number one position to the dangerous Australians.  What a series lies in store.

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