If this Test series had been rugby rather than cricket the scores might have been something like 40-6, 3-55 and 48-3. Inconceivably, all three have been one-sided thrashings, two by England and the other by SA. It is not a unique state of affairs, but it’s highly unusual.

The 239-run defeat at the Oval on Monday saw the Proteas fall 2-1 behind with the fourth and final Test in the series due to start at Old Trafford in Manchester on Friday.

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