South Africa noses in front, but draw looms
By Fred Atkins | Associated Press - LEEDS (England)
03rd August 2012 11:13 PM
The second test between England and South Africa at Headingley looks to be heading for a draw after heavy rain on Sunday forced play to be abandoned during day four's afternoon session.
South Africa's batsmen had reached 39-0 in their second innings when play was halted, with Jacques Rudolph 21 not out and Graeme Smith unbeaten on 17.
The tourists led by 33 runs at the notional tea interval, which was followed shortly afterwards by the umpires' decision to abandon play for the day.
Neither side is likely to have enough time to force a result on Monday, although England's Matt Prior remained bullish.
"It's obviously very frustrating," he said. "To get a small lead and put South Africa under a bit of pressure, it would have been nice to have the opportunity to bowl all the day and pick up a few wickets. The one thing I would say is in a funny way there's probably only two possible results, a draw or an England win."
Prior was certainly talking a good game.
"For them to know they have to bat out a day could be quite tough from the mental point of view," he said. "Hopefully it'll be a lovely overcast day, the ball will loop around, we'll pick up 10 wickets and whoop and holler and party the night away."
Prior had earlier hit 68 as England was all out for 425. Kevin Pietersen was out to the second ball of the morning without adding to his overnight score of 149.
Morne Morkel (2-96) trapped Pietersen lbw to end an innings of 214 balls, with a six and 22 fours.
Morkel said his side was pleased to get rid of Pietersen and Prior relatively cheaply. "Pietersen and Prior are two batsmen who can take the game very quickly away from you," he said.
"We only had a 45-run lead so it was very important to get those wickets. Especially with the day we had yesterday it was key for the bowlers to come out and start well."
Imran Tahir had South Africa's best figures with 3-92.
After scoring 419 in its first innings, South Africa was hindered by three injuries.
With Alviro Petersen already sidelined with a hamstring problem, the tourists also took the field without Jacques Kallis because of back spasms and with captain Smith hobbling due to a knee injury.
Pietersen, so impressive on Saturday, never had the chance to reach his 150. After blocking Morkel's first delivery he was powerless to stop the second, an inswinger that thundered into his pads.
Prior, who was 20 overnight, scored rapidly and reached his 50 from 66 balls with a single off Tahir.
Tim Bresnan supported Prior well, lasting 50 balls before he edged Vernon Philander to Smith at first slip for 9 after an hour.
By contrast, Stuart Broad's innings lasted just eight balls before he played a poor shot to Tahir and was caught by sub Faf du Plessis for 1.
Prior survived an lbw referral from Tahir, from a ball that pitched outside leg, before England took the lead when Anderson steered Morkel to third man for four.
However, Prior was out in the next over when he tried to sweep Tahir and was caught by Steyn on the long leg boundary and Tahir then bowled Anderson to end the innings.
Petersen can bat later in South Africa's second innings if needed but, as he was unable to field, Rudolph opened with Smith and the pair had to survive a torrid-11 minute spell before lunch.
Anderson hit Smith high on the pads in the third over and unsuccessfully referred umpire Rod Tucker's not out call. Anderson's next delivery fizzed past Smith's bat and only one more ball was possible before torrential rain swept across Headingley.
Play resumed after a 73-minute delay but aside from a couple of edges that fell short of the slip cordon neither batsman looked in serious trouble.
After exactly an hour the rain returned, followed by thunder and lightning, causing huge puddles to gather on the outfield.
- UPA-II anniversary: No honest appraisal
- Increasing friction between the Chandy and Chennithala factions
- Madrasi heart for Pakistani Madrassa teacher
- Somayagam returns after 48 years
- The Woolwich 'beheading' is straight out of al-Qaeda's terror manual
- Not a drop of Cauvery for people on its banks
- Dalit discrimination 'forms' in colleges
- Marine turtles giving Kerala a miss
- Sushma upset at Modi role, walks out of BJP meet
- CBSE results likely to be out in 4-5 days
- Gurunath Meiyappan neither CSK owner nor Team Principal: India Cements
- Now, Delhi police go after eight Kings XI Punjab players
- Chennai Super Kings owner Gurunath Meiyappan arrested
- Madrasi heart for Pakistani Madrassa teacher
- Police get Gurunath, Srinivasan squirms
- 56,700 Indians face deportation from Saudi Arabia: Khurshid