LEEDS (AFP) - Graeme Smith may have had to be told he'd replaced the late disgraced Hansie Cronje as South Africa's most successful Test captain after his side's 10-wicket triumph here at Headingley but one statistic he was all too well aware of was the Proteas' record in England. Smith was at the crease as South Africa got the nine runs they needed to complete a comprehensive second Test thrashing of England on Monday with more than a day to spare. Victory put the Proteas, ranked second in the world Test standings behind Australia, 1-0 up in the four-match series after a two-day rearguard action saw them draw the opener at Lord's. It also gave Smith his 28th victory in 59 Tests as South Africa captain, surpassing Cronje's mark of 27 wins from 53 matches in charge. That was all news to Smith, who at the tender age of 22 was thrust into the captaincy of a South Africa side that had just made an early exit, on home soil, at the 2003 World Cup and was still struggling to come to terms with the fall-out from Cronje's public confessions of match-fixing. But the gritty left-hander needed no reminding that three times since the country's return to international cricket, following its apartheid-era exile, South Africa have led a Test series in England without winning any of them. "I just found out," Smith said when asked how he felt to have overtaken Cronje's record. "When you captain your country, you want to see a positive result in terms of where you are going as a team. I feel the team has progressed really nicely in the last year-and-a-half. "It feels like it's my team, it feels like I've had a really big influence," added Smith of a squad that in March was again rocked by the thorny issue of 'transformation' when Charl Langeveldt pulled out of the tour of India because he felt he'd been picked to help meet a racial quota rather than on merit. "The stats, at the end of the day, you look at them but it's what you feel inside the dressing room that makes a difference when you are going somewhere as a team," Smith said. "I have a fantastic group of players around me so that's more important for me than those stats." Now Smith wants to do something the 1994, 1998 and 2003 Proteas all failed to achieve and become the first South African captain since Peter van der Merwe in 1965 to lead the team to a Test series triumph in England. "We are going to enjoy this moment," said Smith. "It (South Africa's record in England) is something we've been aware of all the time." Victory in the third Test at Edgbaston, which starts on July 30, would give Smith's men an unbeatable 2-0 lead. "It is a place where England play well but so too is Headingley. It's a pressure cooker for any away team but the situations we've faced in this game, we've handled very well." Smith was particularly impressed by the way in which AB de Villiers put the controversy surrounding his attempt to catch Andrew Strauss, ruled not out after replays showed he'd dropped the ball, behind him to top score with a patient 174 in South Africa's first innings 522. That gave the Proteas a first innings lead of 319, the batsmen ensuring the bowlers' work in dismissing England for 203 didn't go to waste. "AB in particular played a real man's innings. the pressure he walked out into from the crowd, being booed, was a credit to him." And with fast bowlers Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel sharing 14 wickets between them, while veteran paceman Makhaya Ntini rediscovered some of his old sharpness, South Africa's bowlers also had plenty of reasons to be cheerful. "This was an outstanding bowling performance," said Smith. "There wasn't a lot on offer, there was a little bit of reverse-swing, but we had to create a lot of pressure and we did."