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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 December, 2004, 11:30 GMT
England continue winning habit
BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

England celebrate victory
It's all for one, and one for all, in the England dressing room
To win eight Test matches in a row is a wonderful achievement, and Michael Vaughan's England team deserve every ounce of the credit that is being heaped upon them.

It says a great deal about the spirit that exists within the camp; an atmosphere in which everyone truly plays for the team, rather than for himself.

Clearly good fortune is required too but, in sport, you tend to make your own luck.

A massive electrical storm attacked Port Elizabeth shortly after lunch and would probably have washed out the game but at the moment not even the elements can prevent England from winning.

The challenge that now faces South Africa is to stop this run of victories.

Kingsmead, the venue for the second Test in Durban, can offer swing and seam bowlers a lot of help.

That is not really in the interests of Graeme Smith's team whose batting in the first match only occasionally gave glimpses of composure and confidence.

They will hope to have Herschelle Gibbs back after injury, and they urgently need Jacques Kallis to be fit to bowl again.

That would enable them to play another batsman in place of Zander de Bruyn, who does not look like a number six at this level.

England's players will fly to Durban early on Wednesday, and many will be reunited with their families for Christmas.

England supporters in Port Elizabeth
England supporters have an extra reason to celebrate this Christmas

Their beachfront hotel will resound with laughter, but there are still some concerns that need to be addressed before Boxing Day.

The most pressing is the form of Steve Harmison who, on this evidence, would barely rate in the top 100 bowlers in the world, rather than slip to fourth as he has.

He needs time to bowl in the middle, but there is no time. All that is available is net practice.

Harmison will not be unduly worried at the moment, and an early wicket or two in Durban would be enough to make all the difference.

But he is not naturally an upbeat, outgoing man and another sub-standard performance might severely dent his confidence.

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