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Breaking News : South Africa hold nerve to take No. 1
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#1
England start the third and final Test on Thursday knowing only a win will stop opponents South Africa from overtaking them in the world rankings.

The Proteas lead the series 1-0, and could bring an end to England's year-long reign at Lord's. "In the next five days, if we play well enough, we will earn that ranking," South Africa captain Graeme Smith said.

England are without Kevin Pietersen, dropped for sending "provocative texts" to some of the South Africa team. Pietersen, who has since apologised, has been replaced by Jonny Bairstow after captain Andrew Strauss said it would have been "untenable" to have him in the squad.

A drastic improvement will be needed to the Yorkshireman's current average with the bat of 12.66 in three Tests if he is to fill the void left by Pietersen.

Despite the turmoil surrounding him, the 32-year-old has excelled in the series, with his 149-run knock in the first innings of the rain-effected second Test helping England to a draw after they had been beaten by an innings and 12 runs in the opener.

There are no such concerns for the Proteas, who are expected to name another unchanged side for the Third test running on British soil.

The Test is also a landmark for Strauss who is set to make his 100th appearance for his country in the unlimited overs form of the game.

"I think it is a game to savour and to be proud of," the 35-year-old said. "We do not have a lot of time throughout our careers to look back on what you have done as you are always looking forward to the next game.

"In a lot of ways, this game is no different, but I am very proud of the fact I have hung around long enough to get to 100 Test matches, and hopefully there are a few more there as well."

-cricketcompanion
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#2
England vs South Africa, 3rd Test, London

Day 1: Stumps
South Africa: 262/7 (87.4 Ovs)
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#3
Day 3
South Africa 309 & 130/2 (44.3 ov)
England 315

South Africa lead by 124 runs with 8 wickets remaining

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RSA 309, 351
ENG 315, 16/2 (13.0 Ovs)
Day 4: Stumps - England need 330 runs
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#5
S.A. win the series 2-0 and they reach No. 1 spot in Test Rankings
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#6
South Africa 309 (Philander 61, Duminy 61, Finn 4-75) and 351 (Amla 121, Finn 4-74) beat England 315 (Bairstow 95, Bell 58, Morkel 4-80, Steyn 4-94 and 294 (Prior 73, Trott 63, Bairstow 54, Philander 5-30) by 51 runs

South Africa displaced England at the top of the Test rankings with a 51-run victory in the third Test at Lord's to secure a 2-0 victory in the series. It was a thoroughly merited victory by a side that had dominated the series but England, forced by desperate circumstances to play with daring, went down with a spirit that for a partisan crowd made their failure easier to bear.

For South Africa's captain, Graeme Smith, there must have been just a few flutters of doubt before the greatest triumph of his formidable reign was confirmed and he received the mace from the ICC chief executive Dave Richardson. He has had too many disappointments for there not to be. It was appropriate that the moment he knew victory must belong to South Africa was when Matt Prior was ninth out for 73 and he plunged for the red ball at first slip with hands like an apple catcher.

One ball later came South Africa's victory, Steve Finn pushing at Vernon Philander and this time Jacques Kallis holding on at second slip. Philander, who until Lord's had been largely overshadowed finished with 5 for 30 and had top-and-tailed England with each new ball in turn. Good runs as well made him a worthy recipient of the man-of-the-match award.

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