South Africa thrashed England by an innings and 12 runs on Day 3 of the first Test to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series and consolidate their position at the top of the ICC World Test Championship Standings, here on Friday.
The thumping win at the Lord's put South Africa one step closer to the ICC World Test Championship final next year. They are on top of the standings with six wins and two losses this cycle, a win percentage of 75. Australia and Sri Lanka follow them in the table, with England languishing at the seventh spot with eight losses this cycle.
Resuming Day 3 at 289/7, South Africa didn't have a great start as Kagiso Rabada was dismissed by a stunning catch from Stuart Broad at mid-wicket. Maco Jansen found support from Anrich Nortje, but the former couldn't complete his maiden Test fifty as he fell two runs short of the landmark.
Nrotje remained unbeaten on 28 as South Africa were bowled out for 326 in their first innings, taking a comfortable lead of 161 runs.
During England's second innings, Proteas skipper Elgar pulled a rabbit out of his hat when he gave Keshav Maharaj a bowl before the sheen had worn off the new ball. Coming in to bowl in the eighth over of England's innings, the left-arm spinner prized out two big wickets before the lunch break to put South Africa firmly in control.
Both Zak Crawley and Ollie Pope, the first innings hero, were trapped in front as South Africa piled on the pressure on the hosts.
While it was Lungi Ngidi who put South Africa well and truly ahead with the big scalp of Joe Root shortly after lunch, it was Nortje who destroyed England's hopes in the Test in a 10-ball burst that yielded three wickets and leaked zero runs.
Nortje sent back Jonny Bairstow for the second time in the Test match and then had Alex Lees and Ben Foakes dismissed in the next over to complete the demolition job.
South Africa bowled out England for 149 in their second innings, winning by an innings and 12 runs, to continue their domination at the Lord's since re-admission. The visitors have now won five of their seven Tests at the venue since 1992, losing only once.
Brief scores: England 165 (Pope 73; Rabada 5-52, Nortje 3-63) & 149 (Lees 35, Broad 35; Nortje 3-47, Rabada 2-27) lost to South Africa 326 (Erwee 73, Jansen 48; Broad 3-71, Stokes 3-71) by an innings & 12 runs.