South Africa v England: Stuart Broad takes 6-17 as tourists win Test and series

By Stephan ShemiltBBC Sport
England celebrate a wicket
Stuart Broad has taken five wickets in a single spell on seven separate occasions
Third Test, Johannesburg (day three)
South Africa 313 & 83: Broad 6-17
England 323 & 74-3: Cook 43
England won by seven wickets

A remarkable spell by Stuart Broad inspired England as they beat South Africa by seven wickets in the third Test to secure a series victory.

In one of his trademark hot streaks, Broad took 5-1 in 31 balls as the hosts were bowled out for 83 in Johannesburg.

Broad ended with 6-17, while Ben Stokes claimed 2-24 and James Taylor held two stunning catches at short leg.

England, earlier bowled out for 323, were taken to their target of 74 by Alastair Cook's 43 for a three-day win.

Cook's men go 2-0 up, with only the fourth Test still to play, for a first overseas series victory since 2012.

Regardless of the result of the final match in Centurion, South Africa - now without a win in nine Tests - will be replaced by India at the top of the Test rankings.external-link

Stuart Broad
After his spell of 5-1, Broad would later return to take an athletic caught and bowled to remove Faf du Plessis

Brilliant Broad does it again

Broad had taken five wickets in a single spell on six previous occasions, the most famous of which were Ashes-winning hauls at The Oval in 2009, Chester-le-Street in 2013 and Trent Bridge in 2015.

This was just as devastating, not least because the match was finely poised, with England holding only a 10-run first-innings lead.

On a pitch offering bounce and seam movement, and under a grey sky, Broad's hostility and accuracy was too much for a South Africa batting line-up that did little wrong, but had no answers.

Dream to win in South Africa - Broad

Immediately after lunch, Broad bowled six overs to claim the first five wickets to fall - the one run he did concede was a dropped catch. This is how the collapse unfolded:

  • Dean Elgar c Bairstow b Broad 15 (SA 23-1) - a slightly wide, rising delivery that Elgar needlessly poked behind
  • Stiaan van Zyl c Stokes b Broad 11 (SA 28-2) - after torturing Van Zyl around off stump, Broad got an edge to gully
  • AB de Villiers c Bairstow b Broad 0 (S 30-3) - a huge wicket, the ball nipping back to take the inside edge
  • Hashim Amla c Taylor b Broad 5 (SA 31-4) - the first of Taylor's superb catches, with Amla turning to short leg
  • Temba Bavuma b Broad 0 (SA 35-5) - some fortune as Bavuma deflected on to his stumps while trying to duck
Most Test wickets since 2012

'He's just got that X factor'

Ex-England batsman Geoffrey Boycott: "Broad bowled with wonderful pace, rhythm, accuracy; he cut the ball, made it bounce - and he fully deserved it. One or two of those balls might have got anybody out."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: "Broad just keeps producing these spells. He's just got that X factor, when he gets in rhythm on any surface, that knack of taking wickets.

"When he's hot, he's roasting. And when he has those moments he just flies through teams."

Matt Prior tweet

Terrific Taylor

Broad was not alone in his brilliance - he was supported by the rest of the England pace quartet and Taylor under the helmet at short leg.

His first catch, to remove Amla, was impressive in that he managed to stay low to hold the ball inches off the turf after it had been turned off the middle of the bat.

The second, to dismiss Dane Vilas from Steven Finn's second delivery, was breathtaking. As Vilas clipped the ball off his hip, Taylor dived full-stretch to his right and clung on in one hand.

After that, Stokes found prodigious swing to york Chris Morris and have Kagiso Rabada caught behind, James Anderson pinned Hardus Viljoen leg before and Broad completed his haul by athletically taking a catch off his own bowling when Faf du Plessis swiped the ball into his thigh pad.

James Taylor and Jonny Bairstow
James Taylor (left) is congratulated after the second of his wonderful catches

England bat twice in a day

England's emphatic victory seemed unlikely after South Africa had the better of the morning session. From 238-5 overnight, the tourists lost their last five wickets for 81 runs.

Joe Root added only four to his 106 before playing a loose drive at Rabada, who would go on to claim his first five-wicket haul.

Bairstow's 45 nudged England into the lead, but when he skied to mid-on to become the last man to fall it looked as though Cook's side had wasted the opportunity for a match-winning lead.

Then came Broad's devastating spell and, after that, England's chase was a formality.

The stats

  • South Africa's 83 is their lowest at home since being readmitted to Test cricket
  • This is the fifth time in five games that South Africa have had a spell where they have lost five wickets for 15 runs or fewer
  • Broad moved to 330 Test wickets, past Bob Willis into third on the all-time England list; only Sir Ian Botham (383) and Anderson (429) are ahead of him
  • De Villiers has been dismissed nine times by Broad in Test cricket; no other bowler has dismissed him more than six times
  • Bairstow averages 48.55 with the bat when playing as a wicketkeeper, the highest of any England keeper to have played at least 10 innings
  • Bairstow claimed nine wicketkeeping dismissals in the match; only Jack Russell and Bob Taylor have taken more in a Test for England