Match : England v South Africa 1st of 3 test match Investec series, the Basil D'Oliveira trophy on South Africa's tour of England 2012.
Venue/Date : The Oval in London, 19,20,21,22 & 23 July 2012.
Debut : none.
Toss : England, elected to bat.
Result : South Africa won by innings and 12 runs.
Man of the match : Hashim Amla.
Umpires : Asad Rauf (Pakistan) + Steve Davies (Australia) with Kumar Dharamasena (3rd umpire, from Sri Lanka).
Head to head139th England v South Africa test match it was, and South Africans registered their 30th victory but with English still lead at 56 besides 53 draws. In England, two teams clashed for the 62nd time and visitors got their 12th win but home team are still up at 27 with 23 draws. At the venue, The Oval in London, this was visitor's first win after England had 6 wins and 7 draws.
End of day 1 : Eng 1st inn = 267/3 in 90 ovs (Cook 114* + Bell 10*)
The characteristic of a great team is that they know how to seize the initiative and then play the role of front-runner very well. England are certainly one of best test team around currently and they showed it today, taking aggressive decision of batting first and despite losing their captain off the 4th ball of the day, Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott made sure they set the platform. Cook raised his 20th test century to keep visitors at bay who bowled both sides of the wicket and didn't make much of an impression.
End of day 2 : SA 1st inn = 86/1 in 37 ovs (Smith 37* + Amla 47*)
Right when everyone thought home team have got hold of drivers seat, visitors staged impressive comeback today with their bowlers finally finding their line and length. Dale Steyn snatched two wickets early and then Morne Morkel completed his four-for. Alviro Petersen departed cheaply and then rain ate up couple of hours but play resumed and Smith and Amla brought English lead down below 300 mark without being separated.
End of day 3 : SA 1st inn = 403/2 in 135 ovs (Amla 183* + Kallis 82*)
Often, outcome of big series like this one are decided with few major innings and looks like Hashim Amla has played one, batting through the day and staying beaten for more tomorrow. Graeme Smith made his 25th test century while Kallis is staring down another one, making sure English get taste of their own medicine, setting up the match beautifully.
End of day 4 : End 2nd inn = 102/4 in 38 ovs (Bell 14* + Bopara 15*)
Another day that belonged to Hashim Amla. Right hander broke record of highest score by a South African batsman in test cricket and put on an unbroken partnership that's now biggest against England for the 3rd wicket. South African bowlers bowled far better than English counter parts in second innings and have left home team to a mountain to climb if they want to save the game.
End of day 5 : End of the match
South Africans completed a handsome victory, but it wasn't as easy. To start off last day, home team lost Ravi Bopara early but then Matt Prior gave good support to Ian Bell who looked determined to bat out the day. Finally, it took a lion hearted performance from Dale Steyn to make the important breakthroughs and seal the victory.