England in SA

Strauss goes as Eng collapse

2010-01-16 17:31
Kevin Pietersen (File)
Johannesburg - England are three wickets down on the third day of the final Test against South Africa at the Wanderers in Johannesburg.


South Africa are looking more likely to win the fourth Test at Wanderers, and thus level the series, after England lost their second wicket while still 221 runs behind.

When bad light stopped play England were 22-2 after both Alistair Cook (1) and Jonathan Trott (8) lost their wickets.

Morne Morkel was the first to strike for South Africa when he had Cook caught by Graeme Smith in the slips. Trott didn't last much longer as Dale Steyn had him caught in the slips as well. This time AB de Villiers took the catch.

Andrew Strauss (9) and Kevin Pietersen (1) are the batsmen

South Africa declared their first innings closed on 423 for seven an hour after tea, leaving England requiring 244 to make South Africa bat again.

Mark Boucher fell 5 runs short of a Test century when Graeme Swann had him caught on the boundary. Boucher was trying to accelerate the scoring rate so that South Africa could send England out to bat again.

Ryan McLaren's partnership with the South African wicketkeeper was crucial and the debutant looked very comfortable while scoring his 33 runs. He finished not out with dale Steyn, who had 1 run to his name.

A thunderstorm interrupted play about 50 minutes after lunch.

When the players left the field, South Africa had 382 for six, for an overall lead of 200, Boucher was not out on 79, having notched up his 5 000th Test run, and debutant McLaren was not out on 12.

The only wicket to fall after lunch was that of AB de Villiers (58). Stuart Broad made the breakthrough when de Villiers pulled a shot to Paul Collingwood at mid-on.

Before lunch South Africa lost three early wickets, but were back on top with de Villiers and Boucher to the rescue with a sixth wicket partnership of 89.

At lunch, the Proteas had 324 for five.

There must have been a few butterfliesin the South African camp when South Africa lost the wickets of Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis in the second and third overs of the day.

Amla got an edge to a ball from Stuart Broad that swung a bit, and wicketkeeper Matt Prior dived past Andrew Strauss at first slip to take a superb one-handed catch.

Amla made 75, in three and three-quarter hours, facing 138 balls and hitting eight fours.

Kallis, who has been a rock in the South African batting order, went six balls later, when he was taken by surprise by a bouncer from Ryan Sidebottom, and was well caught by James Anderson without adding to his overnight score of seven.

Graeme Swann, who has troubled the South Africans throughout the series, succeeded with his first ball of the day when JP Duminy - who has had a miserable series with the bat - edged the ball, which was snaffled up by Paul Collingwood for seven.

South Africa were looking slightly rocky at that stage with a lead of just 55 runs, when De Villiers and granite-man Boucher came together.

They were well set when the new ball was taken, and were easily able to fend off the England seamers. Their 50-run partnership came at nearly a run a minute.

South Africa enjoyed the luck of the green as far as referrals were concerned, with every referral going in their favour.

De Villiers had two close calls before the new ball, both against Swann. The first was for a caught behind when De Villiers tried to sweep Swann.

Umpire Tony Hill gave him out, but De Villiers immediately called for the review, and third umpire Daryl Harper, who was the centre of the controversy that raged over the non-dismissal of Graeme Smith on Friday, overruled the decision.

He had similar luck a few overs later, when he was given out leg before wicket, and the decision was overturned. Television replays showed the ball would have gone over the stumps.

Boucher also had a life when he was given not out against Swann, and the referral showed that the ball had hit him outside the line.

England had by this time used up their referrals, with the referral against Smith and Boucher having gone against them, and that gave De Villiers another life when he was caught behind by Prior off Sidebottom, but given not out.

England have lodged an official complaint against the decision by Harper not to give Smith out on Friday, and have asked for the reinstatement of that referral.


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