South Africa tour of England, 3rd Test: England v South Africa at Birmingham, Jul 30-Aug 2, 2008
South Africa won by 5 wickets
30,31 July, 1,2 August 2008 (5-day match)
  • Overs 1-50
  • Overs 51-100

Morne Morkel is opening the bowling for the first time in his career. Three slips, gully and a short leg for Strauss

"Not exactly a packed crowd just yet," Andrew murmurs. "There were 8000 tickets available yesterday - but of all the Test venues in England, Edgbaston is probably the best for turning up on the day and getting a ticket." Come on Brummies. Get yourself down there.

England have won the toss and will bat. Robin, Cricinfo's oracle, says "Smith looks stiff. Hope they have to field." You have your wish. It's a monstrous toss for England, that. This pitch is expected to turn and Monty'll be brawling in the fourth innings.

Andrew's arrived at the ground. "The skippers have been stood in the middle like statues for about ten minutes now, waiting for Sky to get to the point."

A serious email from Sean. "I know the TMS team get cakes from fans - do you ever get them offered to you?" No, Sean. Emphatically, devastatingly no. We did once get a half-eaten tube of Pringles, which were most welcome. But any carrot cake - in fact, even a carrot would do - is much welcomed if there are any generous people reading.

In case it wasn't abundantly clear by our headline, "Smith passed fit," Graeme Smith has been passed fit. Ergo, he will play, though he's not looking as mobile as he might.

A very good morning and welcome to the third Test at Edgbaston, and what a ripper we have in store. England trail South Africa and must win if they're to stay in the series. Consequently, they've opted for caution and trustworthiness in their selection (Paul Collingwood returns; Steve Harmison misses out), but South Africa's garden isn't as rosy as they hoped as Dale Steyn is injured. Ergo, it's a thriller. If you have anything of remote interest - no "why isn't so-and-so playing? This is an outrage!" emails, please - send us a stamped address envelope. I'm Will Luke, and will be joined by a host of fellow winners just shortly. More news shortly.

Now then, before play gets underway, I might as well appease our commercial numpties by offering you some plugs. You can try the Cricinfo Quiz; Fantasy Cricket; some widgets for your website; and why not have a bash at Slogout? Enough plugs there for a plumber's convention.

0.1

Morkel to Strauss, no run, Strauss leaves this alone outside the off stump. Encouraging bounce and carry through to Boucher

0.2

Morkel to Strauss, no run, well wide of the off stump and left alone

0.2

Morkel to Strauss, no run, some swing again, the ball hitting a good length outside off and winging right back in, the batsman deciding to leave it as it came back some way

0.3

Morkel to Strauss, 1 bye, down the leg side and Boucher dives to his right but can only parry it. England are off the mark with a bye

0.4

Morkel to Cook, no run, Cook leaves his first ball outside the off stump, as Morkel finds yet more encouraging carry through to Boucher

Nel - or Gunther - is doing some neck-stretching exercises

0.5

Morkel to Cook, no run, that's a cracker from Morkel and a poor, wafty shot from Cook, following this good-length delivery outside the off stump

0.6

Morkel to Cook, no run, much fuller this time and Cook prods at it, failing to make contact, and Morkel yelps a hopeful appeal

End of over 1 (1 run, maiden) England 1/0

    • AN Cook 0 (3b)
    • AJ Strauss 0 (3b)
    • M Morkel 1-1-0-0

Ntini to open from the City End. Three slips, gully, point.

1.1

Ntini to Strauss, 1 leg bye, a loose, stiff stray down the leg side which Strauss knocks off his hip for a single

1.2

Ntini to Cook, no run, wide of the off stump and left alone

1.3

Ntini to Cook, 1 run, Cook leans back into a crunching cover drive, but can't really time it as well as he might. A single brings Strauss back on strike

1.4

Ntini to Strauss, 2 runs, patiently played by Strauss, nudging this to leg for two through midwicket

1.5

Ntini to Strauss, no run, better ball from Ntini this time, Strauss defends to cover

1.6

Ntini to Strauss, no run, ooh blimey, what's he up to here? A little bit short and Strauss tries to pull it, the ball cannoning into his left boot and very nearly into his stumps. This is a pretty slow pitch, judging by the first 12 balls

End of over 2 (4 runs) England 5/0

    • AJ Strauss 2 (7b)
    • AN Cook 1 (5b)
    • M Ntini 1-0-3-0
    • M Morkel 1-1-0-0
2.1

Morkel to Cook, 2 runs, edged and just wide of Harris at gully! Excellent, probing ball which squares Cook up but Harris, diving to his left at gully, can't quite grab it

2.2

Morkel to Cook, no run, good line again outside off

2.3

Morkel to Cook, no run, too wide. Left alone

2.4

Morkel to Cook, no run, again left alone outside off

Don't forget to have a look at our Cricinfo 3D

2.5

Morkel to Cook, FOUR, four for Cook as he angles this past point down to third man. Easy runs

2.6

Morkel to Cook, no run, ooh and this one climbs on Cook who draws his bat inside the line

End of over 3 (6 runs) England 11/0

    • AN Cook 7 (11b 1x4)
    • AJ Strauss 2 (7b)
    • M Morkel 2-1-6-0
    • M Ntini 1-0-3-0
3.1

Ntini to Strauss, no run, a very good line on the off stump, and Strauss - well back in his crease - defends solidly

3.2

Ntini to Strauss, no run, that's a bit of a waste, though. Too wide to trouble Strauss and Boucher takes it in front of first slip

3.3

Ntini to Strauss, no run, much better. Wider of the crease and he angles it across the left-hander

3.4

Ntini to Strauss, no run, ignored once more

3.5

Ntini to Strauss, no run, again Ntini isn't making the left-hander play; again it's angled across him and he leaves it alone

3.6

Ntini to Strauss, no run, and it's ignored once more to end the over

End of over 4 (maiden) England 11/0

    • AJ Strauss 2 (13b)
    • AN Cook 7 (11b 1x4)
    • M Ntini 2-1-3-0
    • M Morkel 2-1-6-0
4.1

Morkel to Cook, no run, Morkel finds one to lift on Cook who plays it competently off the back foot, dropping it dead to his feet

4.2

Morkel to Cook, no run, awful stroke, lured into driving at a fuller delivery outside off stump. No feet movement whatsoever

4.3

Morkel to Cook, no run, drags his bat inside the line this time

4.4

Morkel to Cook, no run, beaten again! This is lovely stuff from Morkel, mixing up his lengths, and Cook prods and fishes and only just misses

4.5

Morkel to Cook, 1 run, driven uppishly just short of extra cover. A loose drive, really. No feet movement

4.6

Morkel to Strauss, no run, Strauss leaves this alone outside off

End of over 5 (1 run) England 12/0

    • AJ Strauss 2 (14b)
    • AN Cook 8 (16b 1x4)
    • M Morkel 3-1-7-0
    • M Ntini 2-1-3-0
5.1

Ntini to Cook, 3 runs, a waste from Ntini, much too short and Cook climbs into a pull. As is so often the case, he doesn't time it - it sometimes looks like he's batting with a plastic bat - and Andre Nel makes an excellent chase to cut off four

5.2

Ntini to Strauss, no run, pulled again to Nel at midwicket

5.3

Ntini to Strauss, no run, better line on the off stump, Strauss defends on the back foot

5.4

Ntini to Strauss, FOUR, yes, neat stroke by Strauss. A crisp pull to a thoughtlessly short delivery. No pace on a really slow pitch, it just sat up and begged to be smacked through midwicket by Strauss

5.5

Ntini to Strauss, no run, fuller but wider

5.6

Ntini to Strauss, no run, and again he leaves alone

End of over 6 (7 runs) England 19/0

    • AJ Strauss 6 (19b 1x4)
    • AN Cook 11 (17b 1x4)
    • M Ntini 3-1-10-0
    • M Morkel 3-1-7-0
6.1

Morkel to Cook, 1 run, nudged to leg - oh and well run, too

6.2

Morkel to Strauss, no run, that climbs on Strauss, but is too wide for him to be bothered playing at it. Boucher takes it above head height

6.3

Morkel to Strauss, no run, turned off his hip

6.4

Morkel to Strauss, no run, left alone outside off

Around the wicket

6.5

Morkel to Strauss, no run, oh that's a beauty from Morkel. What a prospect this guy is. It squares Strauss up who tries to turn it to leg but is beaten on the outside edge

6.6

Morkel to Strauss, no run, oh what a ball that is! This cuts back on Strauss who shoulders arms but, fortunately, it bounced

End of over 7 (1 run) England 20/0

    • AJ Strauss 6 (24b 1x4)
    • AN Cook 12 (18b 1x4)
    • M Morkel 4-1-8-0
    • M Ntini 3-1-10-0
7.1

Ntini to Cook, no run, on middle-and-leg, defended

7.2

Ntini to Cook, no run, short of a length but, with the lack of pace by Ntini - not to mention on a pitch lacking zip - Cook defends this comfortably off the back foot

7.3

Ntini to Cook, no run, Cook isn't lured into playing at this one which angles across him

7.4

Ntini to Cook, no run, defended on the back foot

7.5

Ntini to Cook, no run, defended on the back foot once more

7.6

Ntini to Cook, no run, ignored once more

Pretty uninspiring start by Ntini, this.

End of over 8 (maiden) England 20/0

    • AN Cook 12 (24b 1x4)
    • AJ Strauss 6 (24b 1x4)
    • M Ntini 4-2-10-0
    • M Morkel 4-1-8-0

Around the wicket

8.1

Morkel to Strauss, no run, defended on the back foot

It's all very quiet out there. And incidentally, there are loads of seats still available (which in itself is a bit odd)

8.2

Morkel to Strauss, no run, left alone outside off

8.3

Morkel to Strauss, no run, a waste down the leg side

8.4

Morkel to Strauss, no run, angling into his legs - he's around the wicket, remember - Strauss nudges it to mid-on

8.5

Morkel to Strauss, no run, short of a length and blocked off the back foot

8.6

Morkel to Strauss, no run, oh and he plays and misses to a very good length delivery, Strauss lured into a drive

End of over 9 (maiden) England 20/0

    • AJ Strauss 6 (30b 1x4)
    • AN Cook 12 (24b 1x4)
    • M Morkel 5-2-8-0
    • M Ntini 4-2-10-0

Time for Nel? No...it's Ntini

9.1

Ntini to Cook, no run, firmly forward and defended

9.2

Ntini to Cook, no run, Cook is happy to shoulder arms here

9.3

Ntini to Cook, 2 runs, neatly punched off the back foot by Cook, gliding it without power through the off side

Ntini around the wicket

9.4

Ntini to Cook, no run, ooh and he immediately lures Cook into a poky, awkward drive to one which held its line

9.5

Ntini to Cook, no run, left alone

9.6

Ntini to Cook, 2 runs, short, Cook steps to leg and tries to clatter this through the off side, but he again can't time it. It's turgid stuff out there, really difficult to get any value for your shots

End of over 10 (4 runs) England 24/0

    • AN Cook 16 (30b 1x4)
    • AJ Strauss 6 (30b 1x4)
    • M Ntini 5-2-14-0
    • M Morkel 5-2-8-0

Right. Morkel's in again and around the wicket

10.1

Morkel to Strauss, no run, Strauss leaves that alone

10.2

Morkel to Strauss, (no ball) FOUR, Strauss gets four but it's another fine delivery from Morkel, squaring up the batsman but he plays with soft hands and it's angled down to third man

10.2

Morkel to Strauss, no run, left alone outside off

10.3

Morkel to Strauss, no run, fuller length but it climbs alarmingly after it passes Strauss, Boucher taking it above head height

10.4

Morkel to Strauss, 2 runs, oh well bowled, Morkel - a fuller ball but it's down the leg side. Good thinking though

10.5

Morkel to Strauss, no run, turned to leg

Good grief, Morkel is some bowler isn't he? A huge prospect for South Africa

Rob has something to say. "You say there are loads of seat available, could it be because many of us are at work? Or that it costs the best part of 200 quid to take a family to a test match? Matches rarely last more than four days at Edgbaston. How much play will there be on Saturday/ Forget Sunday, it never goes to five days here unless it rains."

10.6

Morkel to Strauss, no run, ignored outside off

End of over 11 (7 runs) England 31/0

    • AJ Strauss 12 (37b 2x4)
    • AN Cook 16 (30b 1x4)
    • M Morkel 6-2-15-0
    • M Ntini 5-2-14-0
11.1

Ntini to Cook, no run, punched off the back foot. Defended, rather

Still no Nel...

11.2

Ntini to Cook, no run, short, wide and he cuts firmly to point. Neat stroke

11.3

Ntini to Cook, no run, good line this time, and Cook is forced into a defensive

11.4

Ntini to Cook, no run, that's a better delivery which hurries him into a defensive nudge to leg

11.5

Ntini to Cook, no run, timed to mid-on

11.6

Ntini to Cook, no run, a yelp from Ntini as he hurries the batsman into a defensive

Another over for Morkel and then Nel? Let's hope so. This game needs Gunter at the moment

End of over 12 (maiden) England 31/0

    • AN Cook 16 (36b 1x4)
    • AJ Strauss 12 (37b 2x4)
    • M Ntini 6-3-14-0
    • M Morkel 6-2-15-0

He's around the wicket

Hurrah! Here comes the big man himself, running into bowl like a shopping trolley with three wheels

12.1

Nel to Strauss, no run, too wide and left alone

12.2

Nel to Strauss, no run, left alone once more

I properly love watching Nel bowl. It's ungainly, ugly, powerful and effective

12.3

Nel to Strauss, no run, too wide once more, and left alone

12.4

Nel to Strauss, no run, this hurries into the left hander - a better line and it's defended

12.5

Nel to Strauss, no run, that's poor, too wide

12.6

Nel to Strauss, no run, left alone outside off

End of over 13 (maiden) England 31/0

    • AJ Strauss 12 (43b 2x4)
    • AN Cook 16 (36b 1x4)
    • A Nel 1-1-0-0
    • M Ntini 6-3-14-0

Ntini around the wicket once more

13.1

Ntini to Cook, (no ball) FOUR, well, that's a gift for Cook. It's short, slow, wide and clobbered for four with a very firm cut

13.1

Ntini to Cook, no run, ooh just short of gully! Much better length by Ntini and no footwork by Cook, edging this just short of Paul Harris

13.2

Ntini to Cook, no run, punched back to the bowler

13.3

Ntini to Cook, no run, ignored outside off

13.4

Ntini to Cook, no run, short of a length and Cook, well back in his crease, squeezes this out

"Love the three wheeled trolley description for Nel," Matthew says. "Seems to me as though someone left the pound coin in it and pushed it down the street!"

13.5

Ntini to Cook, FOUR, another shorter ball, another four - he really has pulled that with emphatic power

Cook's struggled on the front foot but looks in wonderful touch on the back

13.6

Ntini to Cook, no run, and it's ignored to end the over

End of over 14 (9 runs) England 40/0

    • AN Cook 24 (43b 3x4)
    • AJ Strauss 12 (43b 2x4)
    • M Ntini 7-3-23-0
    • A Nel 1-1-0-0
14.1

Nel to Strauss, no run, wide of the off stump and ignored

14.2

Nel to Strauss, 1 run, fuller this time but Strauss confidently drops it out to cover and sprints a single

And he's off! There goes Gunter - chirping away and having a furious conversation with himself

14.3

Nel to Cook, no run, left alone outside off

14.4

Nel to Cook, no run, well, again, he doesn't need to play and it's left alone

14.5

Nel to Cook, no run, another waste, too wide

Over the wicket this time. Let's see if he can correct his line

14.6

Nel to Cook, no run, oh dear, poor old Nel's struggling here. Well wide and left alone

End of over 15 (1 run) England 41/0

    • AN Cook 24 (47b 3x4)
    • AJ Strauss 13 (45b 2x4)
    • A Nel 2-1-1-0
    • M Ntini 7-3-23-0

Kallis into the attack

15.1

Kallis to Strauss, no run, wide of the off stump - oh, and this barely carries through to Boucher. That's a real loosener

15.2

Kallis to Strauss, no run, better line this time, forcing the defensive, and he goes back to punch this out to cover

15.3

Kallis to Strauss, no run, again it's a little too wide and he lets this pass

15.4

Kallis to Strauss, no run, ignored once more. A touch of swing outside off, but the line is all wrong

And it's a very warm welcome to my mother, pestering me on messenger

15.5

Kallis to Strauss, no run, blocked off the back foot

15.6

Kallis to Strauss, no run, and it's defended once more

End of over 16 (maiden) England 41/0

    • AJ Strauss 13 (51b 2x4)
    • AN Cook 24 (47b 3x4)
    • JH Kallis 1-1-0-0
    • A Nel 2-1-1-0
16.1

Nel to Cook, FOUR, oh dear, another short ball and another crunching pull by Cook. He has laced that through midwicket, despite the dive from the always-hirsute Amla at short midwicket

Nel is around the wicket, by the way

16.2

Nel to Cook, no run, wide and left alone

16.3

Nel to Cook, no run, what in the name of WG Grace was that? Cook went for a pull but bottom-edged it to point, of all places

Nel loves that! That's the first stare-and-growl of the day and it's highly welcome. Come on, Gunter - more, please

16.4

Nel to Cook, no run, firmly defended, and Nel gives Cook a few choice words

16.5

Nel to Cook, 1 run, neatly played by Cook, pulling him to deep midwicket

16.6

Nel to Strauss, no run, ooh that's beaten Strauss, fishing outside off - it cut back into him a touch

End of over 17 (5 runs) England 46/0

    • AJ Strauss 13 (52b 2x4)
    • AN Cook 29 (52b 4x4)
    • A Nel 3-1-6-0
    • JH Kallis 1-1-0-0
17.1

Kallis to Cook, no run, defended on the back foot

17.2

Kallis to Cook, no run, left alone

17.3

Kallis to Cook, FOUR, swing for Kallis - but swinging into the left-hander who times this sweetly through midwicket

And, lo, the fifty partnership was brought up from 110 balls

17.4

Kallis to Cook, no run, nudged back to the bowler

17.5

Kallis to Cook, no run, nudged off the back foot

17.6

Kallis to Cook, no run, angled out to point

End of over 18 (4 runs) England 50/0

    • AN Cook 33 (58b 5x4)
    • AJ Strauss 13 (52b 2x4)
    • JH Kallis 2-1-4-0
    • A Nel 3-1-6-0
18.1

Nel to Strauss, no run, Strauss comes forward into a drive, patting this to mid-off

"I'm up a mountain in California in a telescope," bellows Rachel, "following your commentary, while my colleague is observing quasars. I'm very relieved not to be missing the scores, since I can't get TMS!" Pleasure is all ours.

18.2

Nel to Strauss, 1 run, goes on the pull, Strauss, but can only paddle it

18.3

Nel to Cook, no run, ah, very good line by Nel - his best ball so far, on the off stump and cutting away just a touch from Cook who defends

18.4

Nel to Cook, no run, shoulders arms to one that is well wide of his off stump

18.5

Nel to Cook, no run, firmly forward, defending

18.6

Nel to Cook, no run, well wide, too wide

End of over 19 (1 run) England 51/0

    • AN Cook 33 (62b 5x4)
    • AJ Strauss 14 (54b 2x4)
    • A Nel 4-1-7-0
    • JH Kallis 2-1-4-0
19.1

Kallis to Strauss, no run, pushed off the back foot

19.2

Kallis to Strauss, no run, it's angled across the left-hander and he leaves alone

19.3

Kallis to Strauss, no run, pushed off the back foot

19.4

Kallis to Strauss, 1 leg bye, down the leg side and nudged around the corner

Kallis is around the wicket

19.5

Kallis to Cook, no run, defended on the front foot

19.6

Kallis to Cook, no run, pushed out to the off side

End of over 20 (1 run, maiden) England 52/0

    • AN Cook 33 (64b 5x4)
    • AJ Strauss 14 (58b 2x4)
    • JH Kallis 3-2-4-0
    • A Nel 4-1-7-0
20.1

Nel to Strauss, FOUR, well bowled - a quick bouncer which surprises and hurries Strauss who top-edges it around the corner

20.2

Nel to Strauss, no run, 84.1mph for Nel here, but it's outside the off stump and left alone

20.3

Nel to Strauss, 1 run, a touch too short, Strauss pulls this through square leg where Amla fields

20.4

Nel to Cook, 2 runs, clunked off the back food through the off side

20.5

Nel to Cook, FOUR, oh, shot - he has nailed that. Far too short and Cook pulls this, in front of square, for a very powerfully-struck four. It is not good bowling, though

South Africa simply must draw him forward. He is remarkably tentative on the front foot

20.6

Nel to Cook, no run, left alone outside off

End of over 21 (11 runs) England 63/0

    • AN Cook 39 (67b 6x4)
    • AJ Strauss 19 (61b 3x4)
    • A Nel 5-1-18-0
    • JH Kallis 3-2-4-0
21.1

Kallis to Strauss, no run, ah that's neatly bowled, drawing him into fishy drive to one which swings away from the left-hander. Lovely stuff, as Alan Partridge might say

21.2

Kallis to Strauss, 1 run, angled out to the off side

Around the wicket, incidentally

21.3

Kallis to Cook, no run, Cook's forward, poking

21.4

Kallis to Cook, no run, good length again, drawing Cook forward who defends

21.5

Kallis to Cook, no run, booming inswinging yorker! That's a shock delivery from Kallis and nearly snuck through

21.6

Kallis to Cook, FOUR, oh, Kallis doesn't like that. Nor does Smith. No one, in fact, other than Cook who edges this past the third slip for four. Soft hands, but still...

End of over 22 (5 runs) England 68/0

    • AN Cook 43 (71b 7x4)
    • AJ Strauss 20 (63b 3x4)
    • JH Kallis 4-2-9-0
    • A Nel 5-1-18-0

Nel over the wicket

22.1

Nel to Strauss, no run, defended to leg

Sorry, he's around the wicket

22.2

Nel to Strauss, no run, too wide and left alone

22.3

Nel to Strauss, no run, excellent delivery which takes a thick outside edge, falling short of gully

22.4

Nel to Strauss, OUT, nudged through midwicket for another easy single. Hang on - they're appealing for something, and he's gone! Strauss has stepped on his stumps! Well, well, what a breakthrough for South Africa

AJ Strauss hit wicket b Nel 20 (93m 67b 3x4 0x6) SR: 29.85

Here's the under-pressure Michael Vaughan

22.5

Nel to Vaughan, OUT, and he's gone first ball! A good one from Nel that held its line, and Vaughan came forward trying to defend, but it didn't look like he touched it. Up went a huge appeal from Nel, and a belated one from the rest of the South Africans, and up too went the finger

MP Vaughan c †Boucher b Nel 0 (1m 1b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

Nel on a hat-trick

22.6

Nel to Pietersen, no run, Pietersen's firmly behind it, defending solidly to block out the hat-trick

End of over 23 (wicket maiden) England 68/2

    • KP Pietersen 0 (1b)
    • AN Cook 43 (71b 7x4)
    • A Nel 6-2-18-2
    • JH Kallis 4-2-9-0
23.1

Kallis to Cook, no run, left alone outside off

23.2

Kallis to Cook, no run, again he leaves this

23.3

Kallis to Cook, no run, goodish length but too wide of the off stump

23.4

Kallis to Cook, 1 run, flicked to leg

23.5

Kallis to Pietersen, no run, wide of Pietersen who leaves it alone

23.6

Kallis to Pietersen, 3 runs, straightening on Pietersen but, as you'd expect, he just walks across to the off side and flicks him through midwicket. The vacant midwicket

End of over 24 (4 runs) England 72/2

    • KP Pietersen 3 (3b)
    • AN Cook 44 (75b 7x4)
    • JH Kallis 5-2-13-0
    • A Nel 6-2-18-2
24.1

Nel to Pietersen, 1 run, pulled through midwicket with a flourish, if not power

Around the wicket to the left-hander

24.2

Nel to Cook, no run, cuts away from Cook who ignores it, wisely

24.3

Nel to Cook, no run, beaten by a cracker that cuts away from Cook! Lovely bowling - he does love bowling to lefties, does Gunther

Excellent and growling follow-through by Nel

24.4

Nel to Cook, no run, left alone outside off

A mad smile by Nel this time. He's bonkers

24.5

Nel to Cook, no run, defended on the back foot

24.6

Nel to Cook, no run, defended on the back foot

End of over 25 (1 run) England 73/2

    • AN Cook 44 (80b 7x4)
    • KP Pietersen 4 (4b)
    • A Nel 7-2-19-2
    • JH Kallis 5-2-13-0
25.1

Kallis to Pietersen, no run, left alone outside off

25.2

Kallis to Pietersen, 1 wide, wayhay! A wide. Splendid wide action by the big man

25.2

Kallis to Pietersen, no run, swinging away from the right-hander who leaves alone

25.3

Kallis to Pietersen, no run, leans into a drive does Pietersen, but it finds mid-off

25.4

Kallis to Pietersen, no run, firmly defended

25.5

Kallis to Pietersen, OUT, a huge appeal and he's out! Pietersen's gone! A quicker, fuller ball which Pietersen tried to flick to leg and got the thinnest of leading edges which flew to Prince at point. Pietersen wasn't sure if it was lbw or caught, and though it didn't look as though he got an edge, the lbw was close

KP Pietersen c Prince b Kallis 4 (13m 9b 0x4 0x6) SR: 44.44

Oh. Dear.

25.6

Kallis to Bell, no run, defended

End of over 26 (1 run) England 74/3

    • IR Bell 0 (1b)
    • AN Cook 44 (80b 7x4)
    • JH Kallis 6-2-14-1
    • A Nel 7-2-19-2

Morkel back into the attack

26.1

Morkel to Cook, no run, ooh and that's close, hurrying Cook into a defensive which hammers into his pad, but he got bat on it

Morkel's around the wicket

26.2

Morkel to Cook, no run, Cook is back, across and defending

26.3

Morkel to Cook, FOUR, too short and Cook, as he has done all morning, pulls it comfortably for four

Andrew, re the Pietersen decision, has this to say: "The board has Pietersen as lbw, and Sky reckons it was caught, so stupendous indecision all round."

26.4

Morkel to Cook, no run, defended

26.5

Morkel to Cook, no run, Cook shuffles back and tries to turn this to fine leg but it wobbles off his pad

26.6

Morkel to Cook, no run, blocked to leg

End of over 27 (4 runs) England 78/3

    • AN Cook 48 (86b 8x4)
    • IR Bell 0 (1b)
    • M Morkel 7-2-19-0
    • JH Kallis 6-2-14-1

Probably the last over before lunch, reckons I

27.1

Kallis to Bell, FOUR, beautiful shot to get off the mark, probably the stroke of the morning, driving this sweetly through extra cover

He often gets going with a beautiful four, does Bell. "That's Belly's money-shot. He'll be out before lunch," wags Miller.

27.2

Kallis to Bell, no run, defended on the front foot

27.3

Kallis to Bell, no run, good line outside off, Bell's forward and defending

27.4

Kallis to Bell, no run, outside off, Bell angles this to third slip

27.5

Kallis to Bell, no run, ooh, a tempter outside the off stump, swinging away from the Bellster, who leaves alone

Kallis has bowled impressively today. Good control and stamina

27.6

Kallis to Bell, no run, and it's left alone

And that, ladies and gents, is lunch on the first morning - and what a first session it's been. Incredibly dull for the most part, at an oddly subdued Edgbaston, before England lost 3 for 6 in 20 balls. A couple of dubious decisions, which livens things up, so plenty for England to ponder over their low-carb high-energy non-fat lunch. I'm off for a high-carb high-energy and high-fat lunch myself, so join us in about 40 minutes for more

End of over 28 (4 runs) England 82/3

    • IR Bell 4 (7b 1x4)
    • AN Cook 48 (86b 8x4)
    • JH Kallis 7-2-18-1
    • M Morkel 7-2-19-0

Welcome back to the afternoon session. England in a spot of bother. For a few overs you have me, Andrew McGlashan, in the chair while Jenny goes and makes us tea and cake. We have our priorities right here at Cricinfo. Morne Morkel will resume the attack

28.1

Morkel to Cook, 1 run, round the wicket, on middle and flicked through square leg...Cook wants two for his fifty but can't get them there

28.2

Morkel to Bell, no run, ooh, outside off and Bell gets a bottom edge as he tries to leave, the ball bobbles out to the slips

28.3

Morkel to Bell, 1 no ball, back of a length on off stump, Bell defends on the back foot and it's a no-ball as well

Three slips, gully and a short leg

28.3

Morkel to Bell, FOUR, goes for the drive, no real footwork and gets a thick outside past gully down to third man. He wasn't in control of that one, hint of movement for Morkel

28.4

Morkel to Bell, no run, good line outside off, Bell defends on the front foot into the covers

28.5

Morkel to Bell, no run, good carry through to Boucher as Morkel bangs it in, Bell lifts the bat high out of the way

28.6

Morkel to Bell, no run, wider outside off, Bell watches it go through

Well, that was a short spell for me...here's Jenny. Thanks, Gnasher. Hello everyone. Ntini coming on now from the City End

End of over 29 (6 runs) England 88/3

    • IR Bell 8 (13b 2x4)
    • AN Cook 49 (87b 8x4)
    • M Morkel 8-2-25-0
    • JH Kallis 7-2-18-1
29.1

Ntini to Cook, 1 run, squashed off the legs to square to bring up his 13th Test fifty, this one from 88 balls with eight fours and a strike rite of 56.8. 125 minutes in all.

Much work still to be done from Cook, however, so the celebrations are quick before he reapplies himself

29.2

Ntini to Bell, no run, comes in a touch off the seam and is defended stoutly back down into the pitch on the front foot

Two slips and a gully

29.3

Ntini to Bell, no run, winged up there in line with off, a full delivery asking to be defended back down forward quickly

29.4

Ntini to Bell, no run, outside off, defended back down into the covers

29.5

Ntini to Bell, FOUR, short ball on off and Bell is quick to rock back and set himself enough time to deliver a fine pull shot like honey.

"A rank long-hop" thunders Gnasher, disturbing Bell's fans' reverie

29.6

Ntini to Bell, no run, defended on the front foot now

End of over 30 (5 runs) England 93/3

    • IR Bell 12 (18b 3x4)
    • AN Cook 50 (88b 8x4)
    • M Ntini 8-3-28-0
    • M Morkel 8-2-25-0
30.1

Morkel to Cook, no run, some width down off and some swing away, a good length though and, accordingly, the batsman lets it go through

30.2

Morkel to Cook, FOUR, thrown out wide outside off, and Cook leans into a superb driven through the covers, forcing all of his shoulder power into it and standing with fine balance

30.3

Morkel to Cook, no run, defends forward this time

30.4

Morkel to Cook, no run, fired through on a good length, tighter in on the batsman and asking him the question. His bat responds with a polite doff of its cap and lets it on its way

30.5

Morkel to Cook, no run, fired across the left hander from over the wicket, a good, tricky angle from Morkel, but Cook waits and leaves

30.6

Morkel to Cook, 1 run, squeezed off the legs to square

End of over 31 (5 runs) England 98/3

    • AN Cook 55 (94b 9x4)
    • IR Bell 12 (18b 3x4)
    • M Morkel 9-2-30-0
    • M Ntini 8-3-28-0
31.1

Ntini to Cook, no run, comes out of his crease, looking to see if the ball on off is of driveable length, his instincts convince him it's not and so he quickly essays the front-foot defence

31.2

Ntini to Cook, no run, Ntini, round the wicket again, fires in on off and forces him to play on the front foot once more

31.3

Ntini to Cook, 2 runs, clipped off the legs behind square and both batsmen set off quickly

England's hundred comes up to expected applause

31.4

Ntini to Cook, FOUR, on the front foot and forces down the ground through mid-on, perhaps not the best-timed shot as he closes the face, but he will accept it nonetheless

31.5

Ntini to Cook, no run, hurries the ball down the channel, a nagging length, and Cook is quick to shoulder arms

31.6

Ntini to Cook, no run, a huge - and prolonged shout - for lbw, but it was on the angle, perhaps with a touch of bat in there too, and the umpire is unmoved

The Mirror's Dean Wilson has had an attack of statisis. "Did you know," he remarks, "that of the 13 times that Alastair Cook has been dismissed between 50 and 99, nine of his scores have ranged between 60 and 65. And, on five of those occasions, he has made exactly 60 ..." Not that anyone's trying to jinx anyone, or anything.

End of over 32 (6 runs) England 104/3

    • AN Cook 61 (100b 10x4)
    • IR Bell 12 (18b 3x4)
    • M Ntini 9-3-34-0
    • M Morkel 9-2-30-0
32.1

Morkel to Bell, no run, looks to flick off the legs down to fine leg but is a touch too late on the shot and the ball squashes down into the turf

32.2

Morkel to Bell, 1 run, oh, that one climbs on Bell and the batsman may have thought he was in trouble for a second as the ball crashes into the handle and on to his glove but splays down safely near gully

Great delivery from Morkel, testing the batsman again

32.3

Morkel to Cook, no run, round the wicket now and shoots the ball down the channel on a good length, with a hint of late swing away. Cook leaves it be

32.4

Morkel to Cook, no run, fires past the outside edge again, a testing angle away from him

32.5

Morkel to Cook, no run, full delivery, the would-be yorker, which Cook crunches into the turf having leaned out to try to force it, perhaps, through point

32.6

Morkel to Cook, 2 runs, outside off and Cook drives out to mid off

"Nothing but the facts in the Daily Mirror," says, nay positively thunders, Deano

End of over 33 (3 runs) England 107/3

    • AN Cook 63 (104b 10x4)
    • IR Bell 13 (20b 3x4)
    • M Morkel 10-2-33-0
    • M Ntini 9-3-34-0

We've just heard from Nottinghamshire that Darren Pattinson has affirmed his desires to escape the one-Test wonder club. The full story will be on the site soon

33.1

Ntini to Bell, no run, right up there, and pushed into the covers on the front foot

33.2

Ntini to Bell, 2 runs, clipped off the legs to deep midwicket, Prince returns it hard. "Good fielding, Ashy!" is the verdict

Two slips and a gully

33.3

Ntini to Bell, no run, up there on off, Bell gets on the back foot and wrists it down towards the short covers

33.4

Ntini to Bell, no run, angled up there on a good length and in line with off, a patient Bell pats the ball back down forward

33.5

Ntini to Bell, 1 run, fired on the legs and clipped off in front of square, some good timing and the midwicket fielder does the rest

33.6

Ntini to Cook, FOUR, width outside off and Cook stands up straight and drives hard through the covers off the back foot

End of over 34 (7 runs) England 114/3

    • AN Cook 67 (105b 11x4)
    • IR Bell 16 (25b 3x4)
    • M Ntini 10-3-41-0
    • M Morkel 10-2-33-0
34.1

Morkel to Bell, no run, on the back foot, pushed down to gully

34.2

Morkel to Bell, 2 runs, good stroke from Bell, driven through mid on and it's chased down well by Nel inside the rope

34.3

Morkel to Bell, no run, forced down the channel outside off, decent delivery, Bell leaves it be

34.4

Morkel to Bell, no run, oh, oh, good stuff from Morkel, troubling him as he did last over with one which rises up steeply, this one just nipping past the shoulder of the bat as Bell jumped up and on his back foot in would-be defence

34.5

Morkel to Bell, 1 no ball, a short one once more, but this time Bell is quick to let it go through, and that's a no-ball too for an overstep

34.5

Morkel to Bell, no run, darted up there, good length one, left alone

34.6

Morkel to Bell, no run, short ball on off, defended back down

End of over 35 (3 runs) England 117/3

    • IR Bell 18 (32b 3x4)
    • AN Cook 67 (105b 11x4)
    • M Morkel 11-2-36-0
    • M Ntini 10-3-41-0

Paul Harris comes into the attack now, replacing Ntini

35.1

Harris to Cook, no run, defended hard on the front foot

35.2

Harris to Cook, 1 run, dragged it down a touch short, keeps a bit low and as it spins into the left hander he wrists it off to square

35.3

Harris to Bell, no run, defended back down on the back foot

35.4

Harris to Bell, no run, some spin away from him and worked into the covers

Just the one slip now

35.5

Harris to Bell, no run, Bell wanted to come down now, Harris saw him, and dragged it shorter, the batsman forced to defend on the front foot

35.6

Harris to Bell, no run, pushed on the front foot in line with off to round off a tidy first over

End of over 36 (1 run) England 118/3

    • IR Bell 18 (36b 3x4)
    • AN Cook 68 (107b 11x4)
    • PL Harris 1-0-1-0
    • M Morkel 11-2-36-0

Nel now coming back into the attack. He replaces Morkel and will be running in from the Pavilion End

36.1

Nel to Cook, no run, starts round the wicket and nearly gets a wicket on his first ball back, offering it wide down the channel and moving away, Cook goes fishing off his back foot, caught in two minds there

36.2

Nel to Cook, no run, some swing away, the batsman shoulders arms and lets it go on through

36.3

Nel to Cook, no run, defended hard on the front foot to the covers

36.4

Nel to Cook, no run, pushed into the covers now

Nel bustling with vim, here

36.5

Nel to Cook, no run, on off, Cook looks to work it to the on side, and the ball pops forward, well short of Nel who's quick to take it on the bounce, snapping wide to take it. He follows through with a touch of a stare and the crowd love it

36.6

Nel to Cook, no run, lets it go through outside off

End of over 37 (maiden) England 118/3

    • AN Cook 68 (113b 11x4)
    • IR Bell 18 (36b 3x4)
    • A Nel 8-3-19-2
    • PL Harris 1-0-1-0
37.1

Harris to Bell, no run, some loop in on the legs, pressed out towards mid on

37.2

Harris to Bell, no run, kneels right over the ball in line with leg, defended hard on the crouch

37.3

Harris to Bell, 1 run, on the legs, driven out to mid on

37.4

Harris to Cook, 2 runs, width outside off, driven hard through the covers on the front foot

37.5

Harris to Cook, no run, defended hard on the front foot

37.6

Harris to Cook, no run, defended on the front foot to the covers now

End of over 38 (3 runs) England 121/3

    • AN Cook 70 (116b 11x4)
    • IR Bell 19 (39b 3x4)
    • PL Harris 2-0-4-0
    • A Nel 8-3-19-2
38.1

Nel to Bell, no run, a full one up there in line with off, defended hard on the front foot

38.2

Nel to Bell, no run, sailed it through on a good length once more

38.3

Nel to Bell, no run, width outside off, left alone

38.4

Nel to Bell, FOUR, width outside off and struck very well indeed with a flowing steer off the back foot through the covers to bring up the fifty partnership

38.5

Nel to Bell, no run, outside off, lets it go through

38.6

Nel to Bell, FOUR, oh, finds the outside edge, Bell not too sure what was going on there as he is deceived by the swing away, it falls short of second slip and runs away for four

Nel lets out a furious roar. Never a dull moment when he's bowling. A few worrying signs from Bell, though

End of over 39 (8 runs) England 129/3

    • IR Bell 27 (45b 5x4)
    • AN Cook 70 (116b 11x4)
    • A Nel 9-3-27-2
    • PL Harris 2-0-4-0
39.1

Harris to Cook, 1 run, pushed into the short-cover region

39.2

Harris to Bell, 1 run, clipped off the legs out to square

39.3

Harris to Cook, no run, pushed this one up full and Cook, trapped, in turn traps the ball down

39.4

Harris to Cook, 1 run, over the wicket, incidentally, puts the ball on the legs and it's pushed out to square

39.5

Harris to Bell, no run, round the wicket now, and fires it up there, full, and defended on the front foot

39.6

Harris to Bell, no run, on the legs, defended hard back down

End of over 40 (3 runs) England 132/3

    • IR Bell 28 (48b 5x4)
    • AN Cook 72 (119b 11x4)
    • PL Harris 3-0-7-0
    • A Nel 9-3-27-2
40.1

Nel to Cook, no run, outside off, some wild swing away from a shortish one and Cook decides to leave it

40.2

Nel to Cook, no run, defended back down

40.3

Nel to Cook, FOUR, some width outside off and hammered hard off the back foot in front of point

A confident shot from Cook, now

40.4

Nel to Cook, no run, lets that one go through

40.5

Nel to Cook, no run, angles in hard at the batsman who shoulders arms, letting the tight one on its way

40.6

Nel to Cook, OUT, gone now! Nel strikes with his third victim of the day, an outside edge from Cook who loses the battle with Nel in the end as he's squared up and Kallis takes a good, diving catch to his left at second slip

AN Cook c Kallis b Nel 76 (175m 125b 12x4 0x6) SR: 60.80

Rousing applause for Cook, but he's departed when England needed a lot more for him. Still, his own batting will have encouraged him as he was looking more settled today than he has been in a while, though still not fully comfortable

End of over 41 (4 runs) England 136/4

    • IR Bell 28 (48b 5x4)
    • A Nel 10-3-31-3
    • PL Harris 3-0-7-0

Paul Collingwood now, for his first contribution since being recalled after being dropped

41.1

Kallis to Bell, no run, some swing away outside off

41.2

Kallis to Bell, no run, outside off, pushed into the covers now

41.3

Kallis to Bell, no run, some width outside off, left alone

41.4

Kallis to Bell, 3 runs, squeezed off the legs in front of square

41.5

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, oh, he nearly got caught dangling there, pushing outside his stance, away from the body and his feet rooted into the crease

41.6

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, some swing away, lets it go on

End of over 42 (3 runs) England 139/4

    • PD Collingwood 0 (2b)
    • IR Bell 31 (52b 5x4)
    • JH Kallis 8-2-21-1
    • A Nel 10-3-31-3
42.1

Nel to Bell, no run, outside off, fired down the channel

42.2

Nel to Bell, no run, outside off, a good-length ball, left alone

42.3

Nel to Bell, no run, generates some swing away from him, the batsman lets it go through

42.4

Nel to Bell, no run, defended into the ground towards the covers

42.5

Nel to Bell, no run, on middle and off, squeezed off the legs to midwicket

42.6

Nel to Bell, no run, outside off, kept low, the batsman watches it go through

End of over 43 (maiden) England 139/4

    • IR Bell 31 (58b 5x4)
    • PD Collingwood 0 (2b)
    • A Nel 11-4-31-3
    • JH Kallis 8-2-21-1

A quick drinks break now

43.1

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, outside off, left alone on a good length

43.2

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, once again left alone

43.3

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, forced forward to mid on

43.4

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, outside off, very wide, kept low, and the batsman lets it go through

43.5

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, defended on the front foot in line with off

43.6

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, some swing away outside off and left alone

End of over 44 (maiden) England 139/4

    • PD Collingwood 0 (8b)
    • IR Bell 31 (58b 5x4)
    • JH Kallis 9-3-21-1
    • A Nel 11-4-31-3
44.1

Nel to Bell, no run, nipped right back in off the seam outside off, a good leave there you could say

44.2

Nel to Bell, no run, outside off, left alone

44.3

Nel to Bell, no run, outside edged down to first slip, oh just a share short of Smith, out of whom's hands the ball popped after bouncing anyway

Bell in some trouble down the corridor today

44.4

Nel to Bell, FOUR, width outside off, sits up and Bell despatches it firmly through point

Nel is furious with himself

Andrew Miller reckons Smith could have got that had he have bent his back.

44.5

Nel to Bell, no run, defended on the front foot now

44.6

Nel to Bell, FOUR, width outside off and a lovely shot from Bell, although the bowler had admittedly overpitched, the batsman reaching out and driving through the covers

End of over 45 (8 runs) England 147/4

    • IR Bell 39 (64b 7x4)
    • PD Collingwood 0 (8b)
    • A Nel 12-4-39-3
    • JH Kallis 9-3-21-1
45.1

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, up there on off, defended out to mid on, Collingwood still searching to get off the mark

45.2

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, forced off the back foot, towards the covers this time

Not many runs on offer

45.3

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, big width outside and some almighty swing away as well, the batsman lets it go through

45.4

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, stands firm and defends out to the covers

45.5

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, some swing away, and deliberately fires it a touch wide, but Collingwood is not tempted

45.6

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, tightness again, the batsman shouldering arms as the ball arcs in and then away

End of over 46 (maiden) England 147/4

    • PD Collingwood 0 (14b)
    • IR Bell 39 (64b 7x4)
    • JH Kallis 10-4-21-1
    • A Nel 12-4-39-3

A change of bowling now, then. It's Morkel who's replacing Nel

46.1

Morkel to Bell, no run, begins with a wide one, way outside off

46.2

Morkel to Bell, no run, lets it go through now, a hint of shape

46.3

Morkel to Bell, no run, on middle and leg, Bell fends it down, just getting on top of the bounce with a one-handed slam-dunk

46.4

Morkel to Bell, no run, some swing away which threatens to follow the batsman

46.5

Morkel to Bell, 1 no ball, short ball outside off, some swing away, the batsman lets it go through

46.5

Morkel to Bell, no run, width outside off, some swing away, the batsman shoulders arms again

46.6

Morkel to Bell, 1 run, short ball, hooked round behind square

End of over 47 (2 runs) England 149/4

    • IR Bell 40 (71b 7x4)
    • PD Collingwood 0 (14b)
    • M Morkel 12-2-38-0
    • JH Kallis 10-4-21-1
47.1

Kallis to Bell, no run, defended straight back down the line

"Collingwood may have nought from 14 balls but you've got to be in to win it," says Cricinfo's Jonathan Hungin, wagging, and sounding a little bit like my dear mother

47.2

Kallis to Bell, no run, defended back down on the front foot

47.3

Kallis to Bell, no run, outside off, lets this one go through with some swing away

47.4

Kallis to Bell, no run, right up there and an appeal as he was rapped in front while nearly falling over, though a big inside edge saved him

47.5

Kallis to Bell, no run, outside off, some swing away

47.6

Kallis to Bell, no run, outside off, pushed at it, some swing away, drawing Bell into the shot and nearly taking the edge

End of over 48 (maiden) England 149/4

    • IR Bell 40 (77b 7x4)
    • PD Collingwood 0 (14b)
    • JH Kallis 11-5-21-1
    • M Morkel 12-2-38-0
48.1

Morkel to Collingwood, no run, some swing away outside off

48.2

Morkel to Collingwood, FOUR, on the front foot, drills a firm cover drive with some confidence and after half an hour he's off the mark; the crowd roar appreciatively

48.3

Morkel to Collingwood, no run, on middle and leg, pushed down on the front foot

48.4

Morkel to Collingwood, no run, some swing outside off, Boucher leaps like a salmon impersonating-goalie and stops a certain goal in the top-right corner. Super snatch

48.5

Morkel to Collingwood, no run, takes this one more comfortably as it comes through at a reasonable height

48.6

Morkel to Collingwood, no run, on middle, nearly cuts him in half

End of over 49 (4 runs) England 153/4

    • PD Collingwood 4 (20b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 40 (77b 7x4)
    • M Morkel 13-2-42-0
    • JH Kallis 11-5-21-1
49.1

Kallis to Bell, no run, defended on the front foot

49.2

Kallis to Bell, no run, more defence on the front foot

49.3

Kallis to Bell, no run, some width outside off, and some swing away, the batsman lets it go on

49.4

Kallis to Bell, no run, outside off, lets it go through, Bell watchful

49.5

Kallis to Bell, 1 run, clamped off the legs to deep square and they pick up an easy run

49.6

Kallis to Collingwood, no run, defended on the front foot back towards the bowler who picks it up without trouble

End of over 50 (1 run) England 154/4

    • PD Collingwood 4 (21b 1x4)
    • IR Bell 41 (82b 7x4)
    • JH Kallis 12-5-22-1
    • M Morkel 13-2-42-0
  • Overs 1-50
  • Overs 51-100
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Hours of play (local time) 11am start, Lunch 13.00-13.40, Tea 15.40-16.00, Close 18.00

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