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England v South Africa 2nd Test

South Africa's Jacques Kallis, captain Graeme Smith and Mark Boucher celebrate the dismissal of Andrew Flintoff on day four
Smith (centre) celebrates the dismissal of Andrew Flintoff with Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher

South Africa captain Graeme Smith admitted that drawing the first Test was a huge factor as his team thrashed England by 10 wickets at Headingley.

The tourists batted for more than two days to survive at Lord's, and then dominated at Leeds to win in four days.

"It was important to get away with a draw, otherwise there would have been a lot more pressure on us," Smith said.

"We've improved in all facets but we're not going to rest on our laurels, our motivation is to win the series."

England went into day four on 50-2, needing 262 to make the tourists bat again.

All four South Africa pacemen weighed in with wickets as England just avoided an innings defeat, but Smith's side needed just nine runs to clinch an emphatic victory.

The win was Smith's 28th Test victory as South African captain, one more than Hansie Cronje managed in his tenure.

"I think it was a good exciting Test match but I think the key moments we played a lot better," added Smith.

A lot of our guys stepped up when they needed to and that was great to see.

"We bowled nicely to restrict England and I think the batting performance after that was a credit to the guys.

"It was fantastic to be 319 ahead and I think the guys today bowled really well."

Left-hander Ashwell Prince was once again a thorn in England's side, following his century at Lord's with another gritty innings, an accomplished 149.

" "I'm striking it quite nicely," he smiled. "At the moment I'd say I'm batting as well as ever."

It was another crucial innings from Prince, who came to the crease with his team 127 runs behind at 76-3, and left with them 152 ahead at 355-5.

"The crowd were right behind the bowlers and the atmosphere was quite intimidating.

"We never felt we were on top of the bowlers, they kept coming at us and we needed to be disciplined throughout.

"We had time on our side having bowled them out on day one so we didn't need to up the ante, we had time to build an innings."

South Africa's emphatic win gives them a 1-0 lead in the series with two matches to play, the next starting at Edgbaston on 30 July.

see also
England face battle to save Test
20 Jul 08 |  England
SA on top after England collapse
18 Jul 08 |  England
South Africa in England in 2008
14 Nov 07 |  Cricket

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