Moeen spins England to victory

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South Africa slumped to heavy 177-run defeat on day four of the fourth and final test against England at Old Trafford in Manchester yesterday.

England have overtaken their Ashes rival Australia to the third position in the International Cricket Council Test Rankings following their 3-1 series victory over South Africa.

The Proteas, chasing an unlikely 380, were bowled out for 202, with James Anderson also picking up 3-16.

He went on to make 83 off 159 balls, which included 13 boundaries and a six, before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Moeen. But when Ali dismissed Amla in a run of three wickets in 11 balls the game was up.

Du Plessis, who kept on fighting till this point, ended up scoring 61 off 85 deliveries, which included eight boundaries.

Morne Morkel (4/41) and Duanne Olivier (3/38) shone for the visitors. I practiced more this series than I've ever done with my bowling, hitting a good area and things like that. Broad and Roland-Jones, meanwhile, claimed one wicket each. But I think the team needed me to do that in this series'. "He has come on leaps and bounds as a cricketer and this series has really defined him as a player for us".

But concerns surrounding England's batting line-up persist, with the likes of Keaton Jennings, Gary Ballance, Tom Westley and Dawid Malan all used against the Proteas, with minimal success. Jonny Bairstow took his sixth catch of the match to expose the tourists' tail. You have to take those half-chances to compete.

"Australia have fiery and quick batsmen so England will need to get through them".

"If it's spinning, it's my job in the team to take wickets". We know there are some spots which haven't been cemented.

Skipper Joe Root, whose side won the series 3-1, said: "It was great to see Moeen step up and put in some unbelievable performances to win games for us". The work the duo have done has been as much tactical and strategic as anything else.

"We've got a selection meeting later this week". It's great when we bat together.

"At times when we haven't had the strongest team on paper we've found a way to compete against the strong teams out there‚ but we haven't this time". Despite taking 10 wickets in the series-opening win at Lord's, Ali was insistent that he was not England's frontline spinner, and he says that helped him.

Du Plessis, who played at Old Trafford for Lancashire, had added just one to his tea score when he was caught behind off Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker.

But with a sunny day and good pitch offering some of the best batting conditions this series, struggling opener Heino Kuhn and Bavuma got bogged down.