England suffer narrow defeat
Article posted: 20 August 2012
They were so close, it was their best performance of the series
An enterprising innings from Stuart Broad was not enough to prevent England from relinquishing to South Africa their status as the number one Test side in the world.
Starting the final day at Lord’s on 16 for two and requiring 346 runs – a fourth-innings target that they had never previously achieved in their Test history - an England victory always seemed improbable.
But they went close thanks to a spirited run chase from Broad, who fired 37 runs from 42 balls, and his team-mates.
The new ball proved decisive, however, with South Africa eventually removing England for 294, securing a 51-run and 2-0 series win.
"England will be disappointed to have lost 2-0, but I think that was a fair reflection of the series," former England skipper Michael Vaughan told BBC Test Match Special.
"They got hammered at the Oval, the rain prevented a result at Headingley, but they'll think they've had a good fight today.
"They were so close, it was their best performance of the series, but they've had so many ifs and buts, like the dropped catches."