South Africa v England: Stuart Broad rips through hosts to lead England to series victory
Broad, whose magic spells are fast becoming one of the grandest sights in British sport, finished with 6-17 to roll the punch-drunk Proteas for 83.
England lost three wickets chasing the 74 needed to win the match, with Joe Root and James Taylor seeing the tourists home.
But it was 29-year-old Broad who was the star of the third day, at one stage after lunch taking 5-5 in 31 balls for the cost of just one run - and that off a dropped catch.
Broad has a CV littered with match-winning turns, but this was a display bettered only by his 8-15 in last summer’s Ashes.
Where his Ashes demolition job came on the first morning at Trent Bridge, this came midway through a tense contest that had oscillated back and forth before Broad took matters into his own hands.
He went round the wicket to remove both of South Africa’s left-handed openers, Dean Elgar following one as it nipped off the pitch and Stiaan van Zyl popping a catch to gully after Broad persuaded one to straighten.
His third wicket was the big one, the Proteas’ captain and top batsman AB de Villiers dismissed for a duck as a Broad in-cutter took a thick inside edge on its way into Jonny Bairstow’s gloves.
Despite catchers lining up in the cordon and gaps appearing all over the field, Broad offered nothing to score from.
The double centurion of Cape Town, Hashim Amla, was the next to fall at Broad’s hand, turning one off his pads and seeing Taylor take a fine reaction catch low down at short leg.
Broad made it a fantastic five, for the 15th time in Test cricket, when Temba Bavuma went to duck a short ball that did not get up, instead, brushing a glove and cannoning into the stumps.
It marked the seventh time Broad has taken five wickets in a spell.
When he was finally persuaded to take a breather after 10 overs, the Proteas’ pain did not stop.
Steven Finn replaced Broad and was soon celebrating another striking catch by Taylor – diving sharply to his right to snare Dane Vilas.
Then Ben Stokes muscled in on the act, castling Chris Morris with a classy inswinger and ending Kagiso Rabada’s attempts to counter-attack.
Rabada managed 16, his side’s top score, before being handing Bairstow his ninth catch of the Test.
James Anderson belatedly joined the fun in his first over after the break, Hardus Viljoen trapped plumb lbw.
But it was fitting Broad returned to wrap things up, surprising Faf du Plessis with a rising delivery and flinging himself forward to grab a diving return catch which improbably came off bat and pad.
England’s dominance came completely at odds with the previous tenor of a game that had been in the balance for the first two days, and whose momentum changed at least twice on the third morning.
South Africa began the day 75 runs ahead, with England 238-5, and immediately seized the initiative.
Centurion Root was the best hope of a sizeable lead but he added just four runs to his overnight 106 before an attempted drive landed in Vilas’ gloves.
That left his Yorkshire colleague Bairstow to lead the way and he obliged with a busy 45 that nudged his side 10 runs ahead.
Bairstow, enjoying a transformative series with the bat, put on 37 with Moeen Ali, who had his bat snapped in two by Hardus Viljoen, and 30 more with Broad.
Every run was important in the psychological battle, none more so than Bairstow’s top-edged four that took England past South Africa’s 313.
He was last man out soon after, but his runs left a platform that Broad sprung from in scintillating fashion.