England v SA, 2nd Investec Test, Headingley, 2nd day August 3, 2012

England battle as South Africa retain control

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England 48 for 0 (Strauss 19*, Cook 20*) trail South Africa 419 (Petersen 182, Smith 52, Broad 3-96) by 371 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Alviro Petersen had been the batsman in South Africa's top six that England least worried about, the only one to fail during their crushing innings victory at The Oval.

For Petersen to respond with 182, his highest Test score, did not really fit the script, especially as the script also involved England winning the toss in the second Test and putting South Africa in to bat, anticipating that their quartet of fast bowlers would cause mayhem. Instead, the tourists survived until tea on the second day.

Petersen did not just prove less vulnerable than England had anticipated, he produced the Test innings of his life: 182 in 365 balls, a ball for every day of the year, a year which from England's perspective will go down as an annus miserabilis.

It could have been worse for England. As their captain, Andrew Strauss, reflected on a strategy that had failed to bring the desired effect, he could at least take solace from the 17 overs that he survived alongside Alastair Cook before rain forced a premature end.

South Africa's new-ball bowling was awry, with Morne Morkel in particular spraying the ball wide of the left-handers' off stump. Dale Steyn, whose entrance was delayed until the sixth over, was driven down the ground as Strauss passed Len Hutton, on his home ground as well, in the list of England's leading Test runmakers. That is not the sort of statistic they announce on the PA at Headingley; if Strauss gets 200, somebody might deign to mention it.

But Petersen was the opener to celebrate. His innings was the cornerstone of South Africa's austerely compiled 419. Unless the weather forecast proves entirely wrong or Headingley, the great trickster among Test grounds, stages its greatest ruse of all time, it should at the very least protect South Africa's 1-0 lead entering the final Test at Lord's.

He needed treatment shortly before lunch for a hamstring strain, which was serious enough for him not to field during England's innings and go to a Leeds hospital for a precautionary scan. It might put him out of the rest of the match but the same levels of pain were felt by the media, who were unable to talk to him.

He finally succumbed to Stuart Broad in mid-afternoon, edging to the wicketkeeper, Matt Prior. He departed with his reputation enhanced, a fourth Test hundred secured and a Test average now comfortably above 40.

The manner of his dismissal begged the question why England had not countered him with fullish deliveries on or around off stump more often because this was the area where he rode his luck. England's lengths were shorter, their lines straighter, and Petersen flourished throughout with strong leg-side strokeplay, reaching both his fifty and hundred on the first day with confident pulls.

England had to resort to DRS to claim Petersen's wicket. The not-out decision by Rod Tucker was such a howler that Broad grinned at the absurdity of it all, knowing that the TV umpire would routinely overrule it. It was yet another example of how the Decision Review System enhances the game.

Once Petersen departed, at 353 for 7, England began to make progress, Vernon Philander swung Steven Finn to Tim Bresnan at deep square leg, Morne Morkel's attempted lofted drive against Broad fell tamely to Alastair Cook at mid-off and Imran Tahir fell without scoring, steering James Anderson to slip.

England remained committed to their long-held policy under Strauss and Andy Flower, the director of cricket, to play controlled Test cricket and draw their opponents into error. But their opponents were South Africa. They are not easily deflected from their task.

England had to settle for just the wicket of Jacques Rudolph in the first two hours. Even Rudolph's dismissal served to challenge the sense of England's omission of Graeme Swann in favour of an all-pace attack. Kevin Pietersen, whose part-time offspin was introduced in desperation 20 minutes before lunch, puffed out his cheeks and turned his second ball sharply past Rudolph's outside edge for Prior to complete the stumping.

It was referred by the square-leg umpire but Rudolph's foot was on the line, not behind it. It was a narrow call - and will doubtless be too narrow for some partisan observers - but all the evidence was in favour of the third umpire, Asad Rauf. England had taken a wicket that they sorely needed. Back in the dressing room, Swann's testosterone levels probably rose sharply with frustration.

Petersen also resorted to technology with telling effect earlier in the day. He had successfully overturned an lbw decision made by umpire Steve Davis shortly before the close on the first day when he was 119 and he did so again, this time before adding to his overnight 124, when Anderson's delivery was shown to be both high and going down the leg side.

It was a perfect first session for South Africa. The second new ball was less than eight overs old at start of play and there was enough movement to encourage England's bowlers, but Petersen and Rudolph absorbed the pressure, accepted their moments of fortune with composure, and maintained a rigorous approach that has characterised South Africa's cricket through the series.

The day began with six successive maidens but to term it stalemate would be misleading because with every over that passed the ball was ageing and, much to their frustration, England's chances were receding. Both Anderson and Broad were on their mettle, more purposeful than the first day, and nearly half an hour had elapsed when Petersen pushed Anderson into the off side for the first run.

England bowled shorter at Rudolph than Petersen, recognising his unwillingness to hook or pull, but he was in no rush and a series of conscientious leave-alones were combined with an occasional flirt to third man.

Rudolph had managed 19 from 73 balls on the ground where he played with distinction for Yorkshire for several seasons, imagining that his South Africa career was over, before Pietersen struck.

But the other Petersen ground forward, surviving an occasional flash at a wide one, willing himself to remain true to the stern disciplines that South Africa believe will bring them the series.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY eliotargy on | August 4, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Peterson was dropped on 29? The plan worked. But for Cook's mistake SA would be 250 all out.

  • POSTED BY Unomaas on | August 4, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Yesterday's Saffa bowling session was a little bit disappointing seeing that we didn't take a wicket. This is one of the areas that Biff can take a lesson from Ian Chappell and Steve Waugh. Biff needed to be more attacking in that session. He should have put Tahir on after 10 overs new ball or not. I can guarantee you that the English media and Tahir have definitely taken up residence in Strauss' head with regard to quality spin and rash sweep shots. And that's why its so frustrating with Biff. He has this conservative and classical approach to his captaincy that irritates! Change your thinking Biff! Tahir is a weapon... an attacking wicket taking one at that! Stop thinking of him as your last ditch option when all other seam options have been exhausted!

  • POSTED BY SuperSharky on | August 4, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    I think Rudolph was really unlucky getting stumped against Kevin Pietersen although Pietersen has beaten him fair and square with the turn. Rudolph just had a lack of concentration on where his back-foot was as he reached way too forward. Of all the Proteas, Rudolph has scored the most runs at Headingley while playing for Yorkshire. England looks way better than they did at the Oval and this will be a hard fight for the Saffers for they are still the underdogs. After of what I have seen at the Test at the Oval, I'm not that sure anymore that Graeme Swann is miles better than Imran Tahir. Although Imran Tahir had better figures at the Oval than Swann, I still rate them both equally dangerous.

  • POSTED BY raj_24 on | August 4, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    England can still win this match but for that plenty needs to happen.

    Remember England really do not need to get past SA total or get a big lead.

    Bat sensibly and even if gets bowled out but try to get the deficit within say 40 odd runs. Next SA can crack in their batting , so many Tests with big 1st inn. scores by both teams are decided by 3rd inn of the match , where the team batting makes big mistakes. But this is a lot to happen.

    England needs to bat sensibly , pitch looks good for batting and so far neither team bowlers have actually bowled the correct length .

    So there is some hope for England

  • POSTED BY on | August 4, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    even though the Alviro Petersen innings came with a huge dose of luck and was slowish its a good thing cause he has at least secured a draw for the proteas. Today however the bowlers have to hit the right areas around the wicket and start making early inroads in the first session. the extra bounce should in Morkel's favour

  • POSTED BY cric_fan_ on | August 4, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    The onus of winning this match lies with England and loosing lies with SA

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | August 4, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    no tsosilikile sorry for wrong spelling not in the team AB is handling behind the stumps. AB must play as a specialist batsman and keeper should replace rudolph.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | August 4, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Eng have a chance of winning this test match but for that to happen (paradoxically) Cook and Trott have to fail. The best way Eng can win this match is if KP and Bell score big (~150s) and then Prior and Broad score some quick runs in the end. I fear if Cook and Trot play a big knock they would only be writing their team's chances off in this test match. Eng need to have a lead of at least 100 runs to put SA in pressure on Day 4 and then hope to get them for 200-225 to have a target of 130s to chase. Eng chances are somewhat fat here but by no means null. If KP or Bell produce one of their mater works then Eng would score massive runs on Day 3 and that would turn the match around. However as things stand on Day 2, Eng have to play near flawless cricket to win this test. And SA need to choke to lose this one. But what does history tell us here haan? Eng might miss Swann though here.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | August 4, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    really missing swann, if he is injured then tredwell must be in the team or samit patel fills the 6th spot. test match without a spinner is a big joke. ECB really ruin the talent of bresnan, bresnan must be considered as an all rounder not as a third seamer. bresnan should bat on no 6 spot. finn is a good prospect for future but in his early career he is in pressure because he knows if swann in me out. 5 batsmen, 1 allrounder, 1 keeper batsman, 3 pacers, 1 spinner. i'm excited to watch 3rd day when AFRICAN DEADLY BARRAGE takes on BEST test team.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | August 4, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    @JG2704 - that's the thing, his injury has been a known factor for a while, & you'd imagine that IF they were at least slightly concerned about Swann, they'd of had Panesar or that brilliant spinner Blackwell!

  • POSTED BY eliotargy on | August 4, 2012, 9:45 GMT

    Peterson was dropped on 29? The plan worked. But for Cook's mistake SA would be 250 all out.

  • POSTED BY Unomaas on | August 4, 2012, 9:16 GMT

    Yesterday's Saffa bowling session was a little bit disappointing seeing that we didn't take a wicket. This is one of the areas that Biff can take a lesson from Ian Chappell and Steve Waugh. Biff needed to be more attacking in that session. He should have put Tahir on after 10 overs new ball or not. I can guarantee you that the English media and Tahir have definitely taken up residence in Strauss' head with regard to quality spin and rash sweep shots. And that's why its so frustrating with Biff. He has this conservative and classical approach to his captaincy that irritates! Change your thinking Biff! Tahir is a weapon... an attacking wicket taking one at that! Stop thinking of him as your last ditch option when all other seam options have been exhausted!

  • POSTED BY SuperSharky on | August 4, 2012, 9:07 GMT

    I think Rudolph was really unlucky getting stumped against Kevin Pietersen although Pietersen has beaten him fair and square with the turn. Rudolph just had a lack of concentration on where his back-foot was as he reached way too forward. Of all the Proteas, Rudolph has scored the most runs at Headingley while playing for Yorkshire. England looks way better than they did at the Oval and this will be a hard fight for the Saffers for they are still the underdogs. After of what I have seen at the Test at the Oval, I'm not that sure anymore that Graeme Swann is miles better than Imran Tahir. Although Imran Tahir had better figures at the Oval than Swann, I still rate them both equally dangerous.

  • POSTED BY raj_24 on | August 4, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    England can still win this match but for that plenty needs to happen.

    Remember England really do not need to get past SA total or get a big lead.

    Bat sensibly and even if gets bowled out but try to get the deficit within say 40 odd runs. Next SA can crack in their batting , so many Tests with big 1st inn. scores by both teams are decided by 3rd inn of the match , where the team batting makes big mistakes. But this is a lot to happen.

    England needs to bat sensibly , pitch looks good for batting and so far neither team bowlers have actually bowled the correct length .

    So there is some hope for England

  • POSTED BY on | August 4, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    even though the Alviro Petersen innings came with a huge dose of luck and was slowish its a good thing cause he has at least secured a draw for the proteas. Today however the bowlers have to hit the right areas around the wicket and start making early inroads in the first session. the extra bounce should in Morkel's favour

  • POSTED BY cric_fan_ on | August 4, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    The onus of winning this match lies with England and loosing lies with SA

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | August 4, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    no tsosilikile sorry for wrong spelling not in the team AB is handling behind the stumps. AB must play as a specialist batsman and keeper should replace rudolph.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | August 4, 2012, 7:22 GMT

    Eng have a chance of winning this test match but for that to happen (paradoxically) Cook and Trott have to fail. The best way Eng can win this match is if KP and Bell score big (~150s) and then Prior and Broad score some quick runs in the end. I fear if Cook and Trot play a big knock they would only be writing their team's chances off in this test match. Eng need to have a lead of at least 100 runs to put SA in pressure on Day 4 and then hope to get them for 200-225 to have a target of 130s to chase. Eng chances are somewhat fat here but by no means null. If KP or Bell produce one of their mater works then Eng would score massive runs on Day 3 and that would turn the match around. However as things stand on Day 2, Eng have to play near flawless cricket to win this test. And SA need to choke to lose this one. But what does history tell us here haan? Eng might miss Swann though here.

  • POSTED BY AKS286 on | August 4, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    really missing swann, if he is injured then tredwell must be in the team or samit patel fills the 6th spot. test match without a spinner is a big joke. ECB really ruin the talent of bresnan, bresnan must be considered as an all rounder not as a third seamer. bresnan should bat on no 6 spot. finn is a good prospect for future but in his early career he is in pressure because he knows if swann in me out. 5 batsmen, 1 allrounder, 1 keeper batsman, 3 pacers, 1 spinner. i'm excited to watch 3rd day when AFRICAN DEADLY BARRAGE takes on BEST test team.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | August 4, 2012, 6:55 GMT

    @JG2704 - that's the thing, his injury has been a known factor for a while, & you'd imagine that IF they were at least slightly concerned about Swann, they'd of had Panesar or that brilliant spinner Blackwell!

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | August 4, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    As I've said before , I don't actually find it that strange to leave Swann out. This is based on my thoughts that Swann is severely hampered by his injury. If it purely is tactical then I would say this would be irational and regardless they should have called up Monty or another spinner. Even KP looked threatening so it is surely already looking a bad decision

  • POSTED BY veerakannadiga on | August 4, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    @ Hareendra agree with you, Swann is better than Tahir. All in all I would say Even Stevens after the 2nd days play.Gets exciting from here. Who will blink first?

  • POSTED BY jezzastyles on | August 4, 2012, 4:51 GMT

    @Hareendra - I totally agree, they are missing Swann already - he's one of the better bowlers in world cricket and looks like he would have been more than useful on this surface - that "niggle" must be getting worse. I'm tipping Strausse to get a century, a real captain's knock. Cook & Strausse must set the platform for a big innings. I'd like to see the Poms get a decent lead, just to see how SA react to the pressure of having to save the match. Just hope they get full days of play for the duration.

  • POSTED BY Hareendra on | August 4, 2012, 2:51 GMT

    Graham Swan is certainly better than Imran Tahir, yet the Englishmen decided to go without Swan while the South Africans selected a specialist spinner in Tahir. Puzzling to say the least! They might end up paying for that decision during the last couple of days in the match.

  • POSTED BY on | August 4, 2012, 1:23 GMT

    KP turned the ball square on day 2 and England left wondering how Tahir will go and worse, they left Swann out instead of one of Bresnan or Broad.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | August 3, 2012, 23:50 GMT

    The game has followed almost exactly the same pattern as the first test, only in reverse. South Africa made a good score but batted slowly, then England have made a good start by the end of the second day. In the first game SA batted England out of the game by tea on day 4 and England couldn't force the draw. England have to do the same thing, with at least two players getting big scores. To be honest, I don't like their chances much, especially with the weather looking a bit unsettled. BTW, the umpires have had a bit of a shocker in this one. Only three controversial decisions, all were reviewed and every one was overturned. Thank goodness for DRS.

  • POSTED BY vrn59 on | August 3, 2012, 22:39 GMT

    The first couple of hours tomorrow are very important for both sides. If SA manage to break the opening stand and keep chipping away with wickets, they will be in a good position, but if England battle on and negate the bowlers, then they've got a chance too. I hope the rain doesn't interfere, else the match looks poised to becoming a draw.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | August 3, 2012, 22:09 GMT

    Tough ask to win this for England. 2 Days in, they'll have to bat all thru Day 3 & nearlt Lunch Day 4 just to break square. That would mean only a massive collapse from the Saffas could see them lose. On the other hand - England need to bat for another 4 sessions, I think surrendering any sort of lead on the 1st innings will be handing a big advantage to Sth Africa.

  • POSTED BY 2.14istherunrate on | August 3, 2012, 21:31 GMT

    The future of this game depends, I suspect, on the weather. The pitch seems very pleasant for batting at this stage and can be be a very fast scoring ground. It will be interesting to see if Tahir gets much turn. KP got loads. Hmmm! Strauss has to get a big score to atone for his selection here.

  • POSTED BY binojpeter on | August 3, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    It seems match is slightly tilted in favor of SA right now. England can negate that if they can get a lead of at least100 runs. Whether they will be able to do it needs to be seen. It is not difficult if they believe in themselves.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | August 3, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    Not really sure what to make of today's play. I suppose technically SA were only 4 dawn at start of play as Steyn was one of the men out so they still had 3 genuine batsmen to get rid of. Maybe 150 odd added isn't so bad or wouldn't be under normal circumstances. The problem is that SA only need to draw both games whereas Eng need to draw one and win the other. The one good thing is that we are no wickets down so far but against that I worry about not having Swann or another spinner. Even KP was spinning the ball

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | August 3, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (August 03 2012, 18:06 PM GMT) Agreed - I also thought Smith might have dived forward to the ball which Cook (I think it was edged). If he'd have dropped it SA would be no worse off

  • POSTED BY jezzastyles on | August 3, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    A good effort by SA, especially by Petersen with his hard fought 182. For ENG to have any realistic chance of winning from here, they must bat for days 3 & 4, score at a fast rate, and amass around 600 runs, then try and bowl SA out cheaply in their 2nd innings - far easier said than done. They cannot afford to lose any overs due to conditions. Given it's already day 2, a massive uphill struggle for ENG, I don't like their chances of conjuring a win in this one. @Hammond - a tough reintroduction to test cricket for Finn, 2-118 off 32 overs; can't see him being the #1 ranked bowler in 2-3 years, he's a good prospect, but there's plenty of those around at the moment. Time will tell. Hope there's a result, but my money's on a draw at the moment.

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | August 3, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    In the post war space race it was about who had the best German rocket scientists - the Russians or the Americans! Cynics will say that for a time the best South Africans decided which team (England or Australia) we better. Strangely enough we still have a dose of South African connected players in the England side? However I think this test and series might be decided by who has the best 'Pieterson/Petersen'. As an England supporter I hope it's KP but we'll see? He's talked the talk but will he...... you know..... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | August 3, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    England need to learn to take their catches.maybe it would be better if we did lose no 1 position.It has been a burden since they won it and they played better on the way up.kind of makes you respect the teams who maintain it for years.

  • POSTED BY dontlikecricket on | August 3, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    It will be difficult for England to win this game now as SA made a good score of 400 plus. If England play well then a draw will be more likely outcome. Only way SA will loose this game if they play very poor cricket for next 3 days!!!

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | August 3, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    While England are certainly not out of this game I would probably rate an England win as the least likely outcome at present. They'll have to score at a pretty good rate tomorrow and keep wickets in hand in order to have enough time to make enough runs and bowl SA out again. At least one of Pietersen, Bell, Taylor and Prior probably needs to play a blinder to keep the run rate high enough. There's always the possibility of an SA collapse in the second innings but their batting has looked solid enough so far and it would require at least one of the England bowlers to really step things up.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | August 3, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    It baffles me why the SA slip cordon don't take an extra step or two forward when Philander is bowling! The guy isn't quick - he doesn't have to be. If edges from his bowling carried to slip, he could have twice as many wickets in his career so far! Just stick a third man in for anything that gets through...

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | August 3, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    How England will rue Cook's dropping Peterson early in his innings. Of course, if that chance had been taken then everything that followed would have been different to what actually did happen. Most importantly, Amla would likely not have been run out. SA may have been bowled out for less or made more. We don't really know but, regardless, England really need to get their catching sorted. If SA had won the toss and batted then I'd say that England would be happy enough with the score but, having put them in, I'd reckon they were hoping for about 100 less, which may have happened but for Cook's hands and Finn's knee. A decent start from the openers though, both starting to look settled but aided by some wayward bowling. I reckon that they'd have liked to stay out for the rest of the scheduled overs as they were looking fairly comfortable. The game is yet in the balance and England will be looking to end tomorrow no more than about 75 behind with 5 or more wickets in hand.

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  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | August 3, 2012, 18:04 GMT

    How England will rue Cook's dropping Peterson early in his innings. Of course, if that chance had been taken then everything that followed would have been different to what actually did happen. Most importantly, Amla would likely not have been run out. SA may have been bowled out for less or made more. We don't really know but, regardless, England really need to get their catching sorted. If SA had won the toss and batted then I'd say that England would be happy enough with the score but, having put them in, I'd reckon they were hoping for about 100 less, which may have happened but for Cook's hands and Finn's knee. A decent start from the openers though, both starting to look settled but aided by some wayward bowling. I reckon that they'd have liked to stay out for the rest of the scheduled overs as they were looking fairly comfortable. The game is yet in the balance and England will be looking to end tomorrow no more than about 75 behind with 5 or more wickets in hand.

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | August 3, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    It baffles me why the SA slip cordon don't take an extra step or two forward when Philander is bowling! The guy isn't quick - he doesn't have to be. If edges from his bowling carried to slip, he could have twice as many wickets in his career so far! Just stick a third man in for anything that gets through...

  • POSTED BY jmcilhinney on | August 3, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    While England are certainly not out of this game I would probably rate an England win as the least likely outcome at present. They'll have to score at a pretty good rate tomorrow and keep wickets in hand in order to have enough time to make enough runs and bowl SA out again. At least one of Pietersen, Bell, Taylor and Prior probably needs to play a blinder to keep the run rate high enough. There's always the possibility of an SA collapse in the second innings but their batting has looked solid enough so far and it would require at least one of the England bowlers to really step things up.

  • POSTED BY dontlikecricket on | August 3, 2012, 18:12 GMT

    It will be difficult for England to win this game now as SA made a good score of 400 plus. If England play well then a draw will be more likely outcome. Only way SA will loose this game if they play very poor cricket for next 3 days!!!

  • POSTED BY hhillbumper on | August 3, 2012, 18:26 GMT

    England need to learn to take their catches.maybe it would be better if we did lose no 1 position.It has been a burden since they won it and they played better on the way up.kind of makes you respect the teams who maintain it for years.

  • POSTED BY phoenixsteve on | August 3, 2012, 18:55 GMT

    In the post war space race it was about who had the best German rocket scientists - the Russians or the Americans! Cynics will say that for a time the best South Africans decided which team (England or Australia) we better. Strangely enough we still have a dose of South African connected players in the England side? However I think this test and series might be decided by who has the best 'Pieterson/Petersen'. As an England supporter I hope it's KP but we'll see? He's talked the talk but will he...... you know..... COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • POSTED BY jezzastyles on | August 3, 2012, 19:37 GMT

    A good effort by SA, especially by Petersen with his hard fought 182. For ENG to have any realistic chance of winning from here, they must bat for days 3 & 4, score at a fast rate, and amass around 600 runs, then try and bowl SA out cheaply in their 2nd innings - far easier said than done. They cannot afford to lose any overs due to conditions. Given it's already day 2, a massive uphill struggle for ENG, I don't like their chances of conjuring a win in this one. @Hammond - a tough reintroduction to test cricket for Finn, 2-118 off 32 overs; can't see him being the #1 ranked bowler in 2-3 years, he's a good prospect, but there's plenty of those around at the moment. Time will tell. Hope there's a result, but my money's on a draw at the moment.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | August 3, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    @R_U_4_REAL_NICK on (August 03 2012, 18:06 PM GMT) Agreed - I also thought Smith might have dived forward to the ball which Cook (I think it was edged). If he'd have dropped it SA would be no worse off

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | August 3, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    Not really sure what to make of today's play. I suppose technically SA were only 4 dawn at start of play as Steyn was one of the men out so they still had 3 genuine batsmen to get rid of. Maybe 150 odd added isn't so bad or wouldn't be under normal circumstances. The problem is that SA only need to draw both games whereas Eng need to draw one and win the other. The one good thing is that we are no wickets down so far but against that I worry about not having Swann or another spinner. Even KP was spinning the ball

  • POSTED BY binojpeter on | August 3, 2012, 20:35 GMT

    It seems match is slightly tilted in favor of SA right now. England can negate that if they can get a lead of at least100 runs. Whether they will be able to do it needs to be seen. It is not difficult if they believe in themselves.