Proteas in England

Proteas in trouble at Lord's

2012-08-16 14:25
Steven Finn (Gallo)
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2012-08-16 08:13

Graeme Smith is disappointed that the Kevin Pietersen text saga has overshadowed the series between England and the Proteas.

London - Steven Finn's treble strike helped England reduce South Africa to 65 for four at lunch on the first day of the third and final Test at Lord's on Thursday.

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Fast bowler Finn, on his Middlesex home ground, took three wickets for three runs in the space of seven legitimate deliveries to remove Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis, all of whom had made hundreds this series.

Thanks mainly to Finn, England, 1-0 down and needing to win at the 'home of cricket' to prevent South Africa replacing them at the top of the world Test rankings, put the controversy regarding Kevin Pietersen's omission for sending text messages to the Proteas to one side, as they at last made early inroads into the tourists' powerful top order.

AB de Villiers was five not out and Jacques Rudolph seven not out at lunch, shortly before rain lashed the ground.

And all this after South Africa captain Graeme Smith won the toss and batted in overcast conditions, having made scores of 259 and 107 in his two previous Tests at Lord's.

But a third century eluded him Thursday when James Anderson, with his first ball from around the wicket, had the left-hander caught behind by wicket-keeper Matt Prior although England had to review the decision after Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena had initially ruled not out.

It was the first time in four innings this series that Smith, who on Thursday broke Australia great Allan Border's record for most Tests as captain by leading the Proteas for the 94th match, had failed to make a fifty and South Africa were 22 for one.

First change Finn, who retained his place at the expense of Tim Bresnan after England recalled off-spinner Graeme Swann having opted for an all seam attack during the drawn second Test at Headingley, then took over.

Petersen, who made a Test-best 182 in Leeds, was next out when he gloved the tall Finn, getting good bounce, down the legside to Prior for 22.

And 49 for two soon became 54 for four.

Amla, who made a South African record 311 not out in the tourists' innings victory in the first Test at The Oval, was bowled for 13 by a superb Finn delivery that nipped between bat and pad to clip off-stump.

Kallis then fell for just three, going the same way as Petersen, although his legside glove eeded a review by Australian third umpire Rod Tucker that took several minutes.

It appeared the all-rounder's hand was off the bat at the moment of impact.

But Tucker felt differently, much to Kallis's obvious disbelief, and England captain Andrew Strauss, a Middlesex team-mate of Finn, had yet more reason to celebrate his 100th Test and 50th as skipper.

Teams:

England:

Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn

South Africa:

Graeme Smith (captain), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir

Read more on:    proteas  |  sa in england  |  graeme smith  |  cricket
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