18/07/2012 04:40 BST

England V South Africa Test Series: The Last Win Over The Proteas On Home Soil 1998 (VIDEO)

England and South Africa's three-match Test series gets underway on Thursday, with the Proteas unbeaten on English soil since 1998.

Admittedly only the 2003 (drawn) and 2008 (SA win) series have taken place in the 14 years that have elapsed since England's victorious 2-1 victory in the five-match series, but Graeme Smith, captain on both occasions, ensured the resignation of Nasser Hussein and Michael Vaughan as England captains.

One-nil down after two Tests in 1998, England had Robert Croft's 37 to thank in the third at Old Trafford. The Welshman negotiated the unorthodox and mercurial spin bowler Paul Adams (Mike Gatting described his style as like "frog in a blender") as the South Africans failed to claim a 10th match-winning wicket to avoid a series defeat.

At Trent Bridge for the fourth, captain Michael Atherton rediscovered the thrill of form; his 98 in the second innings came during one of the most memorable bowler-batsman duels. The fiery Allan Donald huffed and puffed but couldn't get Athers out, as England levelled the series.

And so to Leeds and Headingley. It would ultimately be a brief bout of respite for what was a woeful England side (a 1998/99 Ashes series defeat and the 1999 ignominy against New Zealand were to follow), but it was an enthralling finish to a super series.