Worst Defeat in Test History; ENGLAND V SOUTH AFRICA FINAL DAY S.A. CRICKET S C ENGLAND THRASHED AS WICKETS PER RUNS RATIO IS BIGGEST EVER

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Byline: DEAN WILSON

ENGLAND'S battering by South Africa has ranked as the worst in the history of Test matches.

It was the biggest-ever difference between two sides in terms of runs-per-wicket as South Africa triumphed by an innings and 12 runs to make a mockery of England's No.1 status.

And it left skipper Andrew Strauss admitting his surprise at overseeing such a mauling.

The two numbers you need to remember are two and 20. That was the amount of wickets each side took across the five days leaving England completely out-batted, out-bowled and outplayed.

On this evidence, England are No.1 in name only and will require a performance overhaul if they are to deny the Proteas a second successive series win here.

"It is surprising we lost," admitted Strauss. "We always knew South Africa were a good side and they did what good sides do, which is not let you back in the game.

"We were outplayed in the last four days. There are a number of areas where we were frustrated and there are regrets there. Most of my regrets are that we did not come out with a draw.

"We should have done that, but losing four wickets last night was a body blow. With more wickets in hand we could have batted out the day."

Even though Dale Steyn took 5-56 in the second innings, it is too simplistic to say that England lost this game so heavily because their batsmen could not keep South Africa out on the last day. Being bowled out for 240 just before tea was not where this game was lost.

It actually came in the first innings when England kidded themselves that 385 on that pitch was a good score.

As triple centurion Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis proved, it was not. …