England comfortably beat South Africa at Lord’s

The win was England's first against South Africa at Lord's since 1960.

England’s spinner Moeen Ali holding the ball as he and teammates celebrate first Test victory against South Africa at Lord’s. Picture: Twitter/@englandcricket.

LONDON - England comfortably beat South Africa by 211 runs in the first Test at Lord’s to give Joe Root his first win as captain after a roller-coaster fourth day on Sunday.

Set an improbable target of 331 after England had lost their nine remaining second-innings wickets to be dismissed for 233, the touring side never came to terms with a spiteful pitch of uneven bounce and were bowled out for 119.

The win was England’s first against South Africa at Lord’s since 1960.

Root simply had to rotate his bowlers, although spinner Moeen Ali took the honours with figures of 6-53, giving him 10 wickets in the match, a fine performance to set alongside his invaluable first-innings score of 87.

Moeen produced turn and bounce on a pitch that seldom favours fourth-innings run chases. Only three teams have won a Test match by scoring more than 300 at the home of cricket, but the tourists must have felt they were in with a chance after dismissing England so cheaply by mid-afternoon.

But the size of their task became clear when Heino Kuhn (9) and captain Dean Elgar (1) both fell with the score on 12 to fine catches from keeper Jonny Bairstow and Moeen off his own bowling.

JP Duminy also departed cheaply and once Hashim Amla was trapped lbw by Liam Dawson, it was only a matter of time.

England had their share of luck when Quinton de Kock chopped the ball on to the stumps off his foot but they thoroughly deserved the win against a side who made too many mistakes in the field.

The final wicket fell when Morne Morkel heaved Dawson to Keaton Jennings on the boundary.

Earlier, England’s total was boosted by combative batting by Bairstow, who was dropped off a simple chance to Vernon Philander on seven before making 51, and tailender Mark Wood.

That pushed the lead past 300 as South Africa’s bowlers struggled to match their morning success when England, who resumed on 119-1, lost seven wickets as South Africa’s bowlers gave an indication of what was to come.

Morkel claimed three victims and Keshav Maharaj four as England failed to force the pace. Alastair Cook top-scored with 69.

The second Test in the four-match series starts on Friday in Nottingham.