south africa won first test against england
South Africa, dominant since the start of the second day, secured an innings and 12-run victory at The Oval as they broke the back of some stubborn England resistance either side of the new ball on the final afternoon. Ian Bell and Matt Prior had given the home side hope,
but Imran Tahir broke the stand and Dale Steyn then steamed in to finish with 5 for 56.
It was England's first home defeat since losing to Pakistan,
on the same ground, in 2010 and their first innings loss since facing South Africa, at Johannesburg, earlier that same year. For South Africa, it continues their run of taking the series lead each time in England since readmission although it is the first time they have won the opening Test since 1994.
Graeme Smith, South Africa's captain, praised an "incredible" innings from Hashim Amla and the exemplary performance of his bowlers after a difficult first day, in condemning England to a huge defeat in the first Test.
Smith, playing in his 100th Test, led his team to a victory that puts them 1-0 in the three-match series and takes South Africa a step closer to the No. 1 Test ranking. The tourists had been lacking something on day one, when England racked up 267 for 3, but roared back to dominate the rest of the match.