Test likely to end in a draw
06 Aug 2012
LEEDS — England’s hopes of squaring their Test series against South Africa flickered briefly before heavy rain brought an early end to the fourth day of the second Test at Headingley yesterday.
A fluent innings of 68 by Matt Prior gave England a six-run first innings lead, with the hope of bowling out an injury-hit South African team cheaply in a second innings, which started shortly before lunch.
But opening batsmen Graeme Smith and Jacques Rudolph resisted some hostile bowling before a mid-afternoon thunderstorm — the second rain stoppage of the day — ended play with South Africa on 39 for no wicket, a lead of 33. Smith was one of three of South Africa’s regular top four batsmen carrying an injury.
He had to be helped off the field on Saturday after falling heavily on his left knee. But when he batted he did not appear to be hampered in his running between the wickets.
Rudolph opened the batting with Smith in place of first-innings century maker Alviro Petersen, who has a hamstring injury. Jacques Kallis could not take the field because of back spasms.
South Africa will overtake England at the top of the world Test rankings if they win the series.
However, short of a sensational collapse by South Africa today, a draw is probable at Headingley, leaving England needing to win the final Test at Lord’s, starting on August 16, to stay at number one.
(South Africa first innings: 419)
England first innings:
A. Strauss c de Villiers b Steyn 37
A. Cook lbw b Philander 24
J. Trott c Smith b Steyn 35
K. Pietersen lbw b Morkel 149
I. Bell c Smith b Kallis 11
J. Taylor b Morkel 34
M. Prior C Steyn b Tahir 68
T. Bresnan c Smith b Philander 9
S. Broad c sub b Tahir 1
J. Anderson b Tahir 8
S. Finn not out 0
Extras (lb-17,b-7, w-14, nb-11) 49
Total (all out, 126.4 overs) 425
Fall of wickets: 1-65, 2-85, 3-142, 4-173, 5-320, 6-351, 7-396, 8-407, 9-420
Bowling: Morkel 32-9-96-2, Philander 30-10-72-2, Steyn 28-8-102-2, Kallis 12-3-34-1, Tahir 23.4-0-92-3, Duminy 1-0-5-0
South Africa second innings:
J. Rudolph not out 21
G. Smith not out 17
Extras (b-1) 1
Total (for no wickets, 17 overs) 39
To bat: H. Amla, J. Kallis, A de Villiers, J Duminy, A. Petersen, M. Morkel, D. Steyn, V. Philander, I.Tahir
Bowling: Anderson 6-4-4-0, Broad 6-0-18-0, Finn 3-1-4-0, Bresnan, 2-0-12-0