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England captain Alastair Cook was disappointed his side could not make actions speak louder than words after seeing them crumble to a 280-run defeat in the fourth Test following a "limp" batting performance on the final day.
The tourists began the last day at Centurion on 52 for three having been set a victory target of 382 to seal a 3-0 series triumph over South Africa, but they were all out for 101 before lunch.
James Taylor top-scored with 24 as South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada added six wickets to his seven-wicket haul in the first innings.
Cook said at the post-match presentations: " Trevor (Bayliss, England coach) just described it as a limp batting performance which probably sums it up perfectly.
"We spoke about trying to build a partnership to start with, get these (South Africa bowlers) guys in their second and third spells with them being a bowler down maybe, but that proves sometimes you can talk too much and we just couldn't back that up with any actions today.
"It's been a disappointing five days the way we've played. We haven't quite been on it pretty much the whole five days.
"Credit to them, they played well, but we just weren't quite at the races.
"We always want to try and play positively but we just didn't get the balance right today."
Despite a low-key end to the tour, Cook was still full of praise for his side's efforts in South Africa in securing a 2-1 series victory.
He added: " "I can't really fault the lads too much. I think the lads have put in a huge amount for the time we've been here and they deserve all the success they get.
"Today's a bit of a blow but it shows how much work we have to do, and that can only be an encouraging thing."
South Africa captain AB de Villiers was understandably pleased with his side's consolation victory in the final Test despite having already lost the series.
He also took plenty of positives from the performances of some of the team's less experienced players during the series, including Rabada and Temba Bavuma, and believes the Proteas have a bright future ahead of them.
He said: "I thought the boys were very fired up for this Test match, it's been a while since we won a Test match so we're very excited by that."
"Very excited about some of the guys who are coming through and have taken their opportunity with both hands. Very proud of Rabada, it's not very often you take 13 wickets in a match."
He added: "We showed a lot of character and hopefully we can now build on that in the future.
"We've got a long way to go, it's a bit of a rebuilding phase for us, we've lost a lot of guys in the past few years, but I think it's a bright future for us and we're looking forward to the challenges coming our way."