Cricket: England rout South Africa, complete 3-1 test series win

Joe Root celebrates with his team following the final wicket
Joe Root celebrates with his team following the final wicket Photo credit: Getty

England blew through South Africa's resistance to win their fourth and final test by 191 runs on Monday, and clinch a convincing 3-1 series victory in Joannesburg.

South Africa were all out for 274 in their second innings on the fourth day at the Wanderers, well short of their world-record target of 466.

Mark Wood was England's bowling hero with 4/54 in the second innings and nine wickets in the match.

Wood clinched victory with the wicket of Anrich Nortje, caught behind by wicketkeeper Jos Buttler.

The decision didn't immediately go England's way, but the tourists reviewed and TV replays confirmed their triumph. The players were already celebrating anyway.

Star all-rounder Ben Stokes proved his worth on the final day, as he'd done all series, with crucial breakthroughs to dismiss stubborn South Africa opener Dean Elgar (24) and captain Faf du Plessis (35). 

Du Plessis' wicket broke South Africa's most meaningful partnership. Du Plessis and Rassie van der Dussen put on 92 in a period of fight from the home team in the afternoon, but England removed both in the same over just before tea and surged to victory from there.

Stokes roared in and kept a delivery low to bowl du Plessis, ending a horror series for the home skipper, who may lose his job next time South Africa wear white.

Van der Dussen was out for 98 - agonisingly short of a maiden test century - when he lofted a catch to Stuart Broad off Wood.

England finished it off effectively, taking the last seven wickets for just 87 runs.

Throughout the series, skipper Joe Root said an England victory would be the most significant in his three-year reign.

Afterwards, Root said: "Very special, very special indeed. It has taken a lot.

"To pick ourselves up and play as we have done in the last three games is very pleasing. It has taken a big effort from everyone.

"The sky's the limit for us - we're at the start of something. It's been a real squad effort.

"We've got to keep learning. It's been a fantastic tour for our development as a test team.

"It's very exciting."

The margin of the win was also significant - the most convincing performance by an England team in South Africa in more than 100 years, since a 4-0 win in 1914 - six months before the outbreak of World War I.