England in SA

Heroic performance by Proteas

2010-01-14 18:37
Dale Steyn celebrates another wicket. (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - South Africa looked more like the all-conquering heroes of 2008 than the more tentative team of 2009 as they dominated the first-day of the fourth and final Castle Lager Test against England at the Wanderers on Thursday.

At stumps, South Africa were 29 without loss in response to England's first-innings score of 180 all out.

Both sides named changes to the teams that drew the third Test in Cape Town last week. South Africa introduced two debutants - the left-arm bowler Wayne Parnell coming in for the injured Friedel de Wet and Ryan McLaren replacing spinner Paul Harris.

England brought in Ryan Sidebottom, who can swing the ball, to replace Graham Onions.

England captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and chose to bat on a humid, overcast day. He must have regretted that decision when he went out first ball to Dale Steyn, with Hashim Amla taking a spectacular low catch at backward short-leg. Steyn's opening partner Morné Morkel was not to be left out, and got the wicket of Jonathan Trott, leg before wicket for five, off the last ball of his first over.

Morkel struck twice again in the first hour, with Kevin Pietersen - who has had a low key tour of his native land - caught at mid-on by Parnell for seven, and Alastair Cook lbw for 21.

The old firm of Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell - who were largely responsible for England staving off defeat in the first and third Tests - tried to resurrect the innings with a fifth wicket partnership of 76, but when Collingwood was caught by JP Duminy off McLaren for 47 in the fifth over after lunch, the England innings really started falling apart.

Steyn was the wrecker-in-chief, as he added four more wickets to his opening wicket to end with five for 51.

Steyn has now taken five-wicket hauls against all other Test-playing teams.

Ian Bell was first to go, bowled by a superb delivery from Steyn for 35. Matt Prior gloved the ball to Mark Boucher off Steyn for 14, and then Jacques Kallis got into the act with Stuart Broad caught by Morkel at mid-off for 13.

Steyn then wrapped up the innings with Sidebottom edging the ball to Boucher without scoring and Graeme Swann was also caught by Boucher for 27 off 27 deliveries, including three fours and a six. England were all out ten minutes before tea.

Morkel took three for 31 and Kallis and McLaren one wicket each.

Graeme Smith and Ashwell Prince got off to a fairly slow start, but they know they need to protect their wickets on a fairly lively pitch.

Twenty minutes after the start of their innings, rain interrupted play for about an hour and a half.

Only another 33 minutes of play was possible after the break, with 13 runs added. Smith and Prince successfully negotiated the new ball in fading light, and will resume their innings on Friday morning. Smith was not out on 12 and Prince had 15.

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