August 22, 2003

England need to strike early

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Close South Africa 260 for 7 (Kirsten 109*, Zondeki 50*) v England
Scorecard



Gary Kirsten cuts loose as England lose their way at Headingley
© Getty Images


England start the second day of the fourth Test against South Africa at Headingley with a slight edge, but knowing that it could have been so much better. Yesterday they came up against the granite-like resistance of Gary Kirsten, whose 18th Test hundred helped South Africa to recover from 21 for 4 to close on 260 for 7.

Kirsten admitted that his innings might not have been pretty to watch, but he rated it as one of his finest. "A lot of people say that suits my game, to hang in, to play terribly and to look horrible," he told reporters. "I was able to do that. That innings was up there with my best. The circumstances dictated that. It's always nice to get runs in adversity."

With Monde Zondeki, who frustrated England's bowlers with 50 not out, his maiden first-class half-century, Kirsten added 118 for the eighth wicket, and England have to strike early this morning if they are to avoid letting South Africa completely off the hook.

Click here for the Day 1 Bulletin
Click here for the Wisden Verdict