England strike back in second Test

Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis put on 156 runs for the third wicket, as South Africa dominated much of the first day of the second Castle Lager Test at Kingsmead on Saturday, but three quick
wickets after tea brought England right back into the match.

When bad light stopped play, South Africa had gone from a strong position of 151 for two at tea to teetering on 175 for five.

“It was really frustrating,” said Jacques Kallis. “We had done really well up until tea and the day clearly belonged to us, and then half an hour put the game in the balance.”

Graeme Smith won the toss and went against tradition by choosing to bat first. Initially, it appeared that he had made the wrong call when South Africa lost two wickets in the first half hour for
just 10 runs.

England’s premier bowler James Anderson made the initial breakthrough in the third over when Ashwell Prince edged the ball to Graeme Swann at third slip for two. Stuart Broad struck gold with his fourth ball of the match when he trapped Hashim Amla leg before wicket, also for two.

Just before the drinks break, South African fans had some anxious moments when Anderson hit Smith on the left hand, and the Proteas captain had to receive treatment for a badly bruised index
finger. It brought back memories of the second Test against Australia at the same venue earlier this year, when Mitchell Johnson put Smith out of the Test by breaking the little finger of his right hand. In the New Year’s Day Test in Sydney, Johnson broke
Smith’s little finger on his left hand.

Smith and Kallis came together with the score on 10 for two. South Africa scored just 14 runs in the first hour of play, but Smith and Kallis gradually began to gain control of the situation.

By lunch, they had taken the score to 67 for two.

South Africa dominated the session after tea, adding 84 runs without losing a wicket. Both players moved to their half centuries—Smith’s 26th coming off 138 balls and Kallis’s 52nd off 94. Their century partnership came off 146 balls. It was only the second time they had shared a stand of more than 100 runs.

As the England bowlers toiled in hot, humid conditions, South Africa appeared to have taken command of the day. However, England fought back after tea, taking three quick wickets for the addition of just 24 runs before bad light stopped play 40 minutes after the break.

Kallis added just one run to his teatime score of 74 before getting an outside edge to Swann in his first over after tea. He was caught in the slips by Paul Collingwood. Three overs later, there was a dreadful mix-up between Smith and AB de Villiers which resulted in Smith being run out for 75. De Villiers set off for a suicide run, Smith started to run and then turned back. Alistair Cook, ball in hand, whipped the bails off just before Smith grounded his bat.

Kallis was philosophical about the run-out.

“It’s frustrating when things like that happen, but these things happen in cricket. We’ve just got to knuckle down tomorrow and get as close to 350 as we can.”

With South Africa’s strong position crumbling, the Proteas suffered another blow when Graham Onions, who had been the bowler who had troubled the batsmen most throughout the day, got JP Duminy lbw for four.

At this stage, the light was fading fast as clouds gathered over the ground.

Although the floodlights had been switched on shortly after tea, De Villiers and Mark Boucher had no hesitation in leaving the field when the umpires offered them the light. De Villiers was not out on four and Boucher on eight.

Onions said England were very satisfied with the day’s play

“When they were 150, 160 for two and all of a sudden you take three big wickets, it just swings the ball game back in our favour. We finished the day quite strongly.

“We feel we’ve got a great opportunity now. They’re five wickets down now, and if we are as disciplined as we were today, there’s no reason why we can’t bowl them out quite cheaply.

“It’s the kind of wicket that if you put the ball in the right areas, you can take wickets.”

Play was scheduled to start half an hour early, at 9.30am, on Sunday to make up for time lost on the first day. - Sapa

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