SACricketmag.com revisits the five clashes between England and the Proteas at Trent Bridge over the last 20 years.
4th Test: 1998
England won by eight wickets
Allan Donald calls Michael Atherton the toughest batsman he’s ever bowled to, and it’s largely because of the infamous duel between the pair in Nottingham in 1998. South Africa went into the fourth Test 1-0 up and looking to wrap up proceedings, but the English had other ideas in what was Andrew Flintoff’s Test debut.
Hansie Cronje’s century lifted South Africa to 374, before Michael Atherton and Mark Ramprakash soaked up 362 balls between them to score 115 runs, with England amassing 336. Angus Fraser and Dominic Cork then took nine wickets between them as South Africa were bowled out for 208. Needing 247 for victory, Donald produced a barrage of short balls to try and rattle Atherton, but Atherton was having none of it. He was there at the end, unbeaten on 98 off 277 balls, as England won by eight wickets. England went on to win the series 2-1.
3rd Test: 2003
England won by 70 runs
Another effort of resistance from England five years later, with their backs firmly against the wall. Young skipper Graeme Smith went into the third Test off the back of consecutive double tons and he was out for more, fresh from his side’s innings and 92-run victory at Lord’s a fortnight previously.
It was Michael Vaughan’s second match as England’s captain after Nasser Hussain surrendered in the first Test. While Vaughan didn’t lead the way with his bat, he did with his captaincy, as Mark Butcher and Hussain scored tons to get England to 445. A lower-order fight from the South Africans got them to 362, and, similar to last week’s Test at Lord’s, the visitors somehow found a way back into the match after bowling the English out for just 118.
But then an unlikely hero in the form of debutant James Kirtley, who took 6-34 with the Proteas needing 202 for victory. They fell 70 runs short to make it 1-1 in the series. The series eventually finished 2-2.
2nd ODI: 2008
England won by 10 wickets
In what was the first ODI ever between the sides at Trent Bridge, it was complete destruction from the English, as the Nottingham ground started to become a serious bogey ground for the South Africans. The Proteas might have won the Test series, but England achieved revenge in the 50-over format, as they won the series 4-0. This match, however, was a crushing blow to Smith’s men.
They were bowled out for 83 in 23 overs, in what remains Stuart Broad’s only five-wicket haul in the format to date. He took 5-23, and openers Ian Bell and Matt Prior did the rest in 14.1 overs, or an hour depending on how you want to look at the swift nature of it.
World T20: 2009
South Africa won by seven wickets
The Proteas confirmed that they were the team to beat in this tournament by ending their Trent Bridge hoodoo with a victory to open their Super 8s campaign. Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell and Jacques Kallis took six wickets between them as England were bowled for 111. The Proteas took their time, but a 49-ball 57 from Kallis steered his side to a seven-wicket victory with 10 balls remaining.
The Proteas went on to win all of their group matches, but fell short in the semi-finals to eventual champions Pakistan.
5th ODI: 2012
South Africa won by seven wickets
The series was on the line, with the Proteas needing to win to draw it 2-2, after the first match was rained out. Sure enough, Hashim Amla’s stocks as a world-class ODI player raised exponentially in a series that saw him score 335 runs throughout the five matches at an average of 111.66. His unbeaten 97 in this match led the way again.
England were bowled out for 182. Alastair Cook top-scored for 51, and the man to find the breakthrough was Faf du Plessis, which remains the last time he took an international wicket.
Amla and AB de Villiers shared in a comfortable 172-run stand, which got the side over the line with 93 balls remaining.
Photo: Paul Barker/Getty Images