South African captain Graeme Smith was delighted by the “perfect” way his side replaced England as the world’s number one Test side at Lord’s. The Proteas held their nerve for a 51-run victory to take the three-match series 2-0 after they’d crushed England by an innings and 12 runs in the first Test across London at The Oval before the second Test in Leeds was drawn. England, set an imposing victory target of 346 to win, were bowled out for 294 on the final day, with man-of-the-match Vernon Philander taking two wickets in two balls to end the contest as he finished with an impressive innings return of five for 30. But there was a period when Matt Prior, who made a typically dashing 73 and Graeme Swann, with a rapid 41, threatened to take the match away from the tourists during an eighth-wicket partnership of 74 at better than a run-a-ball. Previously the Proteas, who only needed to avoid defeat in this match to replace England at the top of the International Cricket Council Test rankings, might have stumbled or even “choked”, a derogatory term for squandering a winning position that has been applied to many other South Africa sides.