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|First Investec Test, Lord’s, day four|
|England 458 & 233: Cook 69, Bairstow 51, Maharaj 4-85|
|South Africa 361 & 119: Bavuma 21, Moeen 6-53, Dawson 2-34|
|England win by 211 runs; 1-0 up in four-game series|
Moeen Ali ripped through South Africa’s batting to give England a 211-run win in the first Test on a wonderfully entertaining fourth day at Lord’s.
Off-spinner Moeen took 6-53 for match figures of 10-112 as the Proteas, set 331 to win, were bowled out for 119.
England had earlier collapsed from their overnight 119-1, dragged to 233 by Jonny Bairstow’s 51.
The win is England’s first in seven Tests and gives Joe Root victory in his first match as captain.
It came moments after England’s women claimed a crucial three-run win against Australia in the World Cup at Bristol.
The second Test begins at Trent Bridge on Friday, with South Africa captain Faf du Plessis set to return after arriving back in England following the birth of his child.
Root’s ideal start
Root, the 80th man to lead England in Tests, begins his reign with a success despite his side being reduced to 76-4 on the first morning.
The outcome could have been different had Root, who rescued his side with 190, not been dropped twice and stumped off a no-ball.
Since tea on the first day, England consistently held the upper hand, their decision to play two spinners vindicated by a pitch that has offered huge assistance to the slow bowlers.
Though South Africa will be boosted by the return of Du Plessis, aspects of their batting looks brittle and they will have to replace pace bowler Kagiso Rabada, who will be suspended for the game in Nottingham.
Moeen’s moment in the sun
There was the suggestion that Moeen had been replaced as England’s number one spinner by left-armer Liam Dawson. He responded with his first 10-wicket haul in a Test to go with the 87 runs he scored in the first innings.
South Africa’s target always seemed distant – only once had more runs been chased to win a Test at Lord’s – but Moeen showed it to be miles out of reach on of a surface that offered turn and bounce for the slow bowlers.
After wicketkeeper Bairstow athletically held Heino Kuhn down the leg side off James Anderson, Moeen got to work.
Dean Elgar was caught and bowled, Quentin de Kock was bowled playing an ugly pull shot and Temba Bavuma fell in similar fashion.
Theunis de Bruyn was caught a slip, the slogging Keshav Maharaj bowled and Rabada caught behind.
Dawson completed England’s victory, Morne Morkel caught on the leg-side boundary while attempting to hit a third six, the 19th wicket to fall in the day.
Bairstow punishes Proteas
With Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance unbeaten overnight, England looked set for steady progress towards a declaration. However, they were checked by a South African attack that first stifled and then penetrated.
Morkel had Cook caught at extra cover for 69 and Balance caught behind for 34, leaving Rabada and left-arm spinner Maharaj to work through the middle order.
At one stage, England had lost seven wickets for 43 runs, a collapse that could have been worse had Vernon Philander held a simple catch at long-off from the bowling of spinner Maharaj when Bairstow was on seven.
Reprieved, Bairstow pugnaciously added 45 for the ninth wicket with Mark Wood.
By the time he became the last man to fall, stumped off Maharaj, he had extended a remarkable period of run-scoring that includes 13 scores in excess of fifty since December 2015.
‘The lads did everything I asked’ – what they said
New England Test captain Joe Root: “It is a nice start, definitely. We have been very good throughout the four days.
“Everything I asked of the lads, they did. It’s great to go to Trent Bridge 1-0 up.
“It was nice to get the runs too, which is a monkey off the back. But throughout the game we had lots of good partnerships.”
Moeen Ali, who was named man-of-the-match: “It was the best all-round performance of my career.
“It was a great wicket and I was trying to attack the batters as much as possible and it worked out well.
“I learned a lot in India it helped my mindset a lot and it worked out well.
“It is almost like a fresh start for me with a new captain.”
England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow: “What a day, what a game, Rooty taking over I don’t think he could have asked for a better way to start.
“He has been pretty chilled. In his mind he was happy with the side and the performance shows that.”
South Africa captain Dean Elgar on Test Match Special: “It is a bitter one to swallow.
“We knew it would be tough to chase anything over 300. It is only one game, we can change it from here.
“It will be interesting from a selection point of view before the next Test. We can’t lick our wounds for too long in international cricket.”
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