Graeme Smith placed his hands on the mace, after South Africa defeated England by 51 runs in the third and final Test at Lord’s. By winning the series 2-0, the Proteas went to 120 points, to become the No.1 side in the ICC Test Rankings.
England, thoroughly distracted by the controversy involving Kevin Pietersen, failed to give Andrew Strauss a win for playing in his 100th test. South Africa were bowled out for 309 after they won the toss and elected to bat. In reply, England took a six-run lead, with Jonny Bairstow top-scoring with 95. Hashim Amla’s knock of 121 then powered South Africa to 351 all out, to give the three lions a 346-run target for victory.
Graeme Swann and Matt Prior’s late order heroics were enough to induce fright, but not good enough to help England open their account in the series. Andrew Strauss soon announced his retirement from the game.