Moeen spins his magic as England surges to victory over South Africa

Moeen Ali took five wickets on Monday as England wore down South Africa to win by 177 runs and seal a series victory.

Having taken a hat-trick to seal victory at The Oval last time out, Moeen claimed 5-69 to bowl South Africa out for 202 under sunny Manchester skies.   -  Getty

The irrepressible Moeen Ali proved South Africa's primary scourge once again as England wrapped up a 3-1 series success with a 177-run win in the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Having taken a hat-trick to seal victory at The Oval last time out before his counter-attacking half-century effectively took the game away from the Proteas here on Sunday, Moeen claimed 5-69 to bowl the visitor out for 202 under sunny Manchester skies.


His third-day knock meant South Africa was chasing an unlikely 380 to win and secure a series draw but at one stage in Monday's middle session the tourist was looking comfortable with Hashim Amla (83) and Faf du Plessis (61) going nicely for the fourth wicket.

Yet as tea approached, Moeen broke the back of their resistance by removing Amla, Quinton de Kock and Theunis de Bruyn in the space of two overs and suddenly England was within touching distance.

South Africa folded sharply after the interval as a gruelling tour, which saw it first land on these shores in May, came to a disheartening denouement with the final seven wickets adding just 39 runs.

While it will look forward to returning home, England, meanwhile, turn its attention to three Tests versus West Indies ahead of an Ashes trip Down Under.

After his day-three heroics, Moeen was left unbeaten on 75 as Morne Morkel (4-41) needed just seven deliveries to remove Stuart Broad and James Anderson in the morning, dismissing England for 243 in its second innings.

Rain delayed the resumption but England wasted little time in making inroads as Broad (1-24) induced Dean Elgar to edge behind for five before Anderson (3-16) brought an end to Heino Kuhn's miserable series, the opener nicking to slip for 11.

And England went into lunch with a spring in their step as, from the final ball of the morning, Temba Bavuma (12) was adjudged caught behind following a review from Joe Root, despite an initial lack of appeal from bowler Toby Roland-Jones (1-52).

Amla took three fours from one Roland-Jones over to signal South Africa's intent to fight back after the interval and brought up his fifty by guiding Ben Stokes down to fine leg for another boundary.

It was Moeen who finally made the breakthrough, ending a stand of 123 by trapping Amla lbw with the help of another review.

Du Plessis brought up his half-century with a whip to leg for four, but in the same over Moeen ousted De Kock (2) and De Bruyn (0) courtesy of edges to slip.

The captain followed soon after tea, edging Anderson behind, and Kagiso Rabada fell to the same bowler, who was harbouring hopes of a first Test five-for on his home ground.

They were soon dashed, though, as Moeen completed a fine individual performance by removing Morkel and Duanne Olivier in successive balls to round off an ultimately resounding England victory.

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