Strauss, Trott launch solid England reply

England fast bowler Graham Onions said his team had a chance of winning the first Test against South Africa after putting in a determined effort on the second day at SuperSport Park on Thursday.

Onions said England had ”stuck in nicely as a bowling unit” to bowl out South Africa for 418 on a second successive hot day, then made a good start as they reached 88-1 at the close.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann took 5-110 as England’s bowlers were forced to toil until after tea to work their way through stubborn resistance by South Africa’s lower-order batsmen.

Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott shared an unbroken 63-run second-wicket stand as England scored at close to four runs an over, in contrast to the South Africans who struggled at below three an over.

”We put the ball in some good areas on a pretty good wicket,” said Onions, who took 3-86.

”There’s no reason why we can’t press for a result, but we’ll have to bat well.”

But South African century-maker Jacques Kallis said England’s quick scoring was more a result of poor bowling by his team than good England batting.

”It was mainly through the conditions that we couldn’t score quickly,” said Kallis. ”It was really disappointing this evening because we didn’t get the ball in the right areas.”

Kallis confirmed that he was unlikely to bowl during the match as he recovers from a cracked rib. He has been bowling in the nets but said it was ”low intensity”.

He added he expected to bowl in the remaining three Tests.

There was a dramatic start to the England innings when Makhaya Ntini, who led the side on to the field in his 100th Test, was denied a wicket with his fourth delivery.

Alastair Cook edged the first ball he faced to AB de Villiers at third slip, who could not hold a sharp throat-high chance.

Cook made only 15 before he was caught behind off South African new cap Friedel Wet, getting a thin edge to a ball which moved away from the left-hander.

It took Trott 11 balls to score his first runs, when he drove De Wet through the covers for four.

When he was on 12 Trott survived a review by television umpire Amish Saheba after being given not out by umpire Steve Davis when left-arm spinner Paul Harris appealed for leg before wicket.

The review showed that although the ball would probably have clipped the top of leg stump it was outside the ”zone of certainty” required for an on-field decision to be overturned.

With overnight batsmen Kallis (120) and JP Duminy (56) failing to add substantially to their scores, South Africa’s remaining batsmen opted for caution on a slow pitch.

Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher made 49 off 100 balls and Harris frustrated the English bowlers as he prodded and occasionally punched his way to 38 off 89 deliveries.

De Wet defied the bowlers for 67 deliveries before he was last man out for 20.

Paul Collingwood equalled the England record of four catches by a fielder in a Test innings, a feat which had been achieved 19 times previously.

He claimed a fifth catch when an attempted sweep by Boucher, on 29, against Swann looped off the batsman’s boot to slip.

The on-field umpires asked for a review and slow motion replays showed the ball had hit the ground as well as the boot.

Collingwood had a half-chance to take a fifth catch when Harris cut Swann and the ball went past the fielder close in at slip almost before he could react. — AFP

 

AFP

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Colin Bryden
Colin Bryden
Semi-active journalist and editor SA Cricket Annual.

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