Demon Devon skittles South Africa

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THE England fast bowler Devon Malcolm (above, leaving the field to an ovation) took nine wickets for 57 in the third Test against South Africa yesterday - a career best, the best spell by an English bowler for 38 years, and the sixth best bowling performance in the history of Test cricket.

The last Englishman to capture nine wickets in an innings was Jim Laker, who did it twice in 1956, including the only 10-wicket haul in Test history.

The South Africans were dismissed in their second innings for 175. Having trailed by 28 runs on the first innings, England found themselves needing 204 to win and have a chance to square the series.

Malcolm dismissed the first three batsmen in the space of nine balls. He took three wickets either side of tea and then mopped up the tail-enders.

Malcolm, who has not played for England since he suffered a knee injury in the winter, was denied the 10th wicket by Darren Gough. But last night Malcolm was magnanimous; Gough deserved a wicket, he said. And although he had enjoyed a personal record he was in no mood to crow. He was quietly enjoying having proved that at 31 he still has plenty to offer English Test cricket.

(Photograph omitted)

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