Fifth Test, The Oval, day five: England 604-9 dec. & 110-1 beat South Africa 484 & 229 by nine wickets
England completed a remarkable comeback by racing to victory with a flurry of boundaries against a dispirited South African side.
The tourists had been 290-1 on the first afternoon last Thursday, but brilliant batting and bowling from the hosts from that point on resulted in an extraordinary win which saw the five-match series drawn at 2-2.
England enjoyed a wonderful morning on Monday as Martin Bicknell and Steve Harmison shared four quick wickets to dispel the notion that the strong South African tail would provide resistance.
And it left England needing just 110 runs to win the match. They lost just one wicket in the process, and man-of-the-match Marcus Trescothick, who hit 219 in the first innings, finished unbeaten on 69.
Bicknell began the destruction on Monday with two critical wickets off consecutive deliveries in the fourth over of the morning.
Fans who paid just £10 each to watch the action saw Mark Boucher chase a Bicknell outswinger which he nicked to wicket-keeper Alec Stewart.
With Boucher gone for 25, Andrew Hall stepped to the wicket.
Having hit 99 not out in the Headingley Test, Hall was clearly capable of spoiling the party.
But the right-handed all-rounder mistimed his very first delivery, spooning the ball straight to Ed Smith at midwicket.
Pollock, running out of partners, began throwing the bat in a panic-stricken display.
He chanced his arm to reach 43 before playing an ill-judged shot at a short ball outside the off-stump from Harmison.
The ball flew directly to Graham Thorpe at backward point, leaving Paul Adams and Makhaya Ntini to attempt to save the match for the visitors.
Adams, to his credit, played two attractive shots through the off-side but Harmison wrapped up the innings when Ntini was spectacularly caught at short leg by Smith.
England's run chase saw both Trescothick and Michael Vaughan enjoying some fortune. Notably, Trescothick was dropped at third slip by the out-of-sorts Hall when on one.
But the left-hander, who hit a double-century in the first innings, went on to carve three boundaries in one Ntini over in a summer when his impact at The Oval in all international cricket has been almost awe-inspiring.
England: Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan (captain), Mark Butcher, Graham Thorpe, Ed Smith, Alec Stewart, Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Martin Bicknell, Stephen Harmison, James Anderson.
South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Gary
Kirsten, Jacques Rudolph, Jacques Kallis, Neil McKenzie, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Andrew Hall, Paul Adams, Makhaya Ntini.