England clinch series

Agence France Presse

Centurion, January 25:

England became only the second team to win a Test series in South Africa since the host nation returned to international cricket in 1991 when the fifth and final Test ended in a draw on Tuesday.

England won the series 2-1 but only after surviving a scare when they lost three quick wickets after being set to make 185 to win off 44 overs. But captain Michael Vaughan batted resolutely to make 26 not out and England finished on 73 for four when bad light ended play with 16 balls remaining.

Although there was never much chance of a rain-hit match producing an outright result, South Africa had a tilt at pulling off a miracle win, with AB de Villiers and Jacques Kallis hitting centuries to enable captain Graeme Smith to declare.

South African hopes flickered when Makhaya Ntini dismissed Andrew Strauss without scoring in the second over. Two more wickets fell by the end of the 15th over, with Shaun Pollock trapping Robert Key lbw and Ntini bowling Marcus Trescothick.

Earlier, De Villiers made 109, his maiden century, while Kallis, South Africa’s top scorer in the series, finished unbeaten on 136 before Smith declared on 296 for six. South Africa added 237 runs in 54 overs on Tuesday to back up Smith’s claim that his team would “give it our all” in an effort to force a result.