Steyn finishes off England after Amla's batting heroics
July 23, 2012 -- Updated 1806 GMT (0206 HKT)
Dale Steyn celebrates his fifth wicket of the innings at The Oval as South Africa completed an innings and 12 run win.
- South Africa beat England by an innings and 12 runs in first Test at The Oval
- Dale Steyn takes five wickets for 56 runs to wrap up victory
- Hashim Amla man of the match for his triple century in South Africa's innings
- South Africa will top Test rankings with victory in three-match series
(CNN) -- It was first blood to South Africa in their battle for cricket supremacy with No.1 ranked England as the tourists wrapped up an innings and 12 runs rout in the first Test at The Oval Monday.
South Africa will usurp England as the best Test team in the world with victory in the three-match series and took a giant step towards that goal with their decisive victory.
Hashim Amla's record breaking triple century, with admirable support from captain Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis, knocked the stuffing out of England as they spent two days in the field while South Africa amassed 637 for two wickets.
Top ranked bowler Dale Steyn finished off the job as England battled to salvage pride and a draw on the final day.
He took five wickets for 56 runs to leave England all out for 240 in their second innings.
It's certainly an extremely proud moment for all of us to have achieved a Test victory in the first Test of what is a big series and play as well as we have
Leg spinner Imran Tahir provided fine back up with 3-63 including the final wicket of James Anderson, trapped leg before wicket to leave the South Africans celebrating and with England to reflect on a rare heavy defeat at home.
Smith was delighted to take such a decisive lead in an all important showdown.
"It's certainly an extremely proud moment for all of us to have achieved a Test victory in the first Test of what is a big series and play as well as we have," Smith told gathered reporters.
England had resumed on the fifth day with four wickets down for 102 runs and still facing a 150 run deficit just to make South Africa bat again.
Steyn removed Ravi Bopara for 22, the batsman playing a lazy shot to chop the ball onto his stumps, but this was South Africa's only success as Ian Bell and Matt Prior battled to the lunch break.
But Tahir removed Prior for 40 to an ill-judged sweep shot and England's chances of survival sank.
Steyn with the second new ball had Bell caught in the slips for a fine 55 and the rest was a formality.
Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann both fell to the paceman before Tahir finished off the job.
England, who have 122 points at the top of the rankings to 113 for currently third placed South Africa, made a fine start to the match making 267 for three wickets on the first day.
But a Morne Morkel inspired collapse saw them all out for 385 on a generally placid batting pitch on day two.
South Africa took full advantage as Amla, Smith and Kallis all passed three figures, the former setting a new Test record for his country with 311 not out.
He shared the headlines in the morning newspapers in South Africa with their golfing hero Ernie Els, who won the British Open at Royal Lytham and St Annes.
The second Test starts at Headingley on Thursday week.
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