| England’s (from left) Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick, James Kirtley and Mark Butcher celebrate their win over South Africa at Trent Bridge on Monday. (Reuters)
Nottingham: Michael Vaughan tasted his first victory as England Test captain as his team beat South Africa by 70 runs in the third Test at Trent Bridge on Monday.
England debutant James Kirtley did the final damage on the fifth morning, taking six for 34 as South Africa, chasing 202 to win, were all out for 131 before lunch.
The win helped England level the five-match series at 1-1. Vaughan’s first Test as captain, the previous game at Lord’s, had seen the hosts suffer an innings and 92-run thrashing.
England now head into Thursday’s fourth Test at Headingley with high hopes of repeating their 1998 home effort when, having been 0-1 down, they had beaten South Africa 2-1.
“Now we have to build on this performance,” said Vaughan.
His South African counterpart Graeme Smith insisted his team could recover from this defeat. “We showed a lot of character and I’m sure we can bounce back in the next Test,” he said.
Reflecting on the absence of Shaun Pollock at Headingley, Smith said: “Shaun’s a world class cricketer but there are a lot of guys who are ready to step up to the plate and take their chance.”
Pollock will miss the next Test as he is returning home to be with his pregnant wife.
South Africa resumed on 63 for five, needing another 139 for victory, with first innings heroes Neil McKenzie and Mark Boucher at the wicket.
But on a pitch where Man-of-the-Match Kirtley’s action often led to low-bouncing balls, there was to be no repeat of the pair’s 129-run sixth-wicket stand that had guided the Proteas to 362 in the first innings.
Kirtley bowled McKenzie, who made 90 in the first innings, for 11 and South Africa were reduced to 71 for six. Pollock, who made a defiant 62 earlier, fell for a four-ball duck, bowled by Andrew Flintoff to leave his team at 80 for seven.
The collapse continued when Andrew Hall went for a first-ball duck, edging a drive off Kirtley to be well caught by Marcus Trescothick at first slip.
South Africa were now 81 for eight with Kirtley, who had fought back from the stigma of having his action reported to the ICC, taking two for one in eight balls.
Meanwhile, wicketkeeper Boucher remained defiant, off-driving Kirtley for four, as a packed crowd roared England home in Trent Bridge’s 50th Test. Boucher completed his fifty with a couple off James Anderson.
But Kirtley was at it again, catching Paul Adams off his own bowling before forcing Boucher to edge one behind the stumps to end the match.