Mon, 23 Jul 2012 21:35:19 GMT | By PTI

Oval: South Africa thrash England

London: South Africa beat England by an innings and 12 runs on Monday in the first Test at the Oval.

Oval: South Africa thrash England

Dale Steyn took 5 for 56 and Imran Tahir claimed 3 for 63 as England slumped from 203 for 5 to 240 all out during the afternoon session on day five

Ian Bell and Matt Prior had given England hope of saving the match with a stand of 86, but England collapsed after Prior fell for 40 trying to sweep Tahir. Steyn claimed the key wicket of Bell, who made 55 from 220 balls with six fours.

It was a bruising defeat for England, who had enjoyed the better of the first day to reach 267 for 3. South Africa dominated from then, however, led by an epic 311 not out from Hashim Amla, an unbeaten 182 from Jacques Kallis and 131 from captain Graeme Smith to give them a daunting 637 for 2.

England began day four on 102 for 4, realistically needing to bat through at least two sessions to save the match, but poor shot selection contributed to their first defeat in a home Test since Pakistan beat them at this venue in 2010.

Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Strauss had already gifted South Africa their wickets on Sunday with needlessly extravagant shots, and Ravi Bopara (22) followed suit just 30 minutes into the morning session. Bopara flashed at a delivery from Steyn that he could have ignored, dragging the ball onto middle stump.

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