Spin wizard: England’s Moeen Ali, second left, is congratulated by teammates after taking the wicket of SA’s Quinton de Kock, right, at Lord’s on Sunday. Off-spinner Ali took a career best of 10/112 in the match. Picture: REUTERS
Spin wizard: England’s Moeen Ali, second left, is congratulated by teammates after taking the wicket of SA’s Quinton de Kock, right, at Lord’s on Sunday. Off-spinner Ali took a career best of 10/112 in the match. Picture: REUTERS

London — It all looked so different at lunch at Lord’s on Sunday, when SA had bowled themselves into the realms of an unlikely victory over England in the first Test.

But that prospect receded with alarming haste as the afternoon wore on, and it was the home side who celebrated the drawing of first blood.

And how that blood gushed.

England dismissed SA — who were chasing 331 — for 119 in a scant 36.4 overs to win by 211 runs with a day to spare.

Off-spinner Moeen Ali, who scored 87 and took 4/59 in the first innings, claimed 6/53 to complete a career-best match haul of 10/112.

SA lost at Lord’s for the first time in the seven Tests they have played here since June 1960 — 57 years ago. Ominously, that series is also the last SA have lost in England.

Their bowlers did all they could to pull the game out of the fire, but their batsmen have pressing questions to answer before the second Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Friday.

In particular the Test future of JP Duminy, who has failed to reach 50 in 10 of his last 12 innings, is in serious doubt.

That problem, at least, has a straightforward solution in the return of Faf du Plessis from paternity leave. The enforced omission of Kagiso Rabada, who has been banned for the second Test for disciplinary reasons, is also surmountable with Chris Morris and Duanne Olivier in SA’s squad.

But what SA are going to do about the rest of their under-performing batting line-up is difficult to fathom, even considering the fact that 19 wickets fell on Sunday on a pitch that was increasingly receptive to spin.

England resumed their second innings on 119/1. Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance took their partnership to 59 before Morné Morkel had a driving Cook smartly caught in the covers by Temba Bavuma for 69.

Morkel removed Ballance in his next over, caught behind for 34, and seven balls later Keshav Maharaj bowled Joe Root off the edge of his bat for five.

A slide of four wickets for 10 runs in 39 balls was complete when Rabada trapped Ben Stokes in front for a single.

Maharaj bowled Moeen Ali for seven with a delivery that pitched outside the left-hander’s off stump and turned sharply to hit the outside of leg.

Rabada condemned Liam Dawson to a pair for the match by bowling him with a full toss.

Stuart Broad, who hammered an unbeaten 57 off 47 balls in the first innings, was gone first ball when another wickedly turning delivery from Maharaj took the edge and was superbly caught by Theunis de Bruyn at short leg.

But the South Africans let things slip after lunch — which England reached on 182/8 — and Jonny Bairstow was given enough support by tailenders Mark Wood and James Anderson to score 51 before being stumped off Maharaj to end the innings.

The home side batted on for 11.1 overs of the second session, and added 51 runs.

Dean Elgar and Kuhn were separated after seven overs of SA’s second innings when Anderson had Kuhn caught down the leg side for nine. Thirteen balls later Elgar was on his way for two when Moeen took a hard-hit return catch.

Duminy pulled meatily at Wood and was well held by Moeen at short midwicket for two. Reduced to 25/3 at tea, SA lost their remaining seven wickets for 94 runs.

Bavuma’s 21 was their top score.

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