Fourth Test, Headingley: South Africa 342 & 365 beat
England 307 & 209 by 191 runs
England's faint hopes of saving the fourth Test on the final day at Headingley were swiftly extinguished as Jacques Kallis handed South Africa a 191-run victory.
Kallis dismissed Mark Butcher for 61 with the second delivery of the day and Andrew Flintoff for 50 in his next over.
And with their two remaining front-line batsmen gone it was only a matter of time before England conceded a 2-1 series lead with one match to play.
Shouldering an extra bowling burden in the absence of Shaun Pollock, who returned home for the birth of his first child, Kallis finished with a career-best 6-54 and nine wickets for the match.
England's misery was compounded with the news that Nasser Hussain's fractured toe could rule the former captain out of the final Test at The Oval.
It was in stark contrast to their joy at reducing the tourists to 21-4 on the opening day of the match after losing the toss.
South Africa recovered well with a record eighth-wicket partnership between centurion Gary Kirsten and debutant Monde Zondeki, and Andrew Hall's 99 on day four set an impossible target.
But England will regret their decision to accept bad light on the second evening and a home attack that failed to take advantage of a poor pitch.
The home side's sixth wicket pair emerged to the roars of a hopeful crowd having already shared a stand of 70 on Saturday evening.
Flintoff just had time to reach his second half-century of the match from 61 balls, with a vicious cut off Kallis, before he nudged a delivery that nipped back to slip.
Butcher captured the mood by clipping Kallis' first delivery for four, but had simply been set up for the out-swinger that followed, edging to South Africa captain Graeme Smith at slip.
England's tail hit out valiantly, put Kallis prospered from a Martin Bicknell edge behind and a Kabir Ali hoick to mid-on.
Kirsten appropriately finished proceedings when he clung on to a James Kirtley edge to gully off Hall 49 minutes into the day.