South Africa tour of England, 2008 / Commentary

Basil D'Oliveira Trophy - 3rd Test

England v South Africa

South Africa won by 5 wickets

Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100

50.1

Anderson to Prince, no run, defended forward

50.2

Anderson to Prince, FOUR, short outside off and Prince has plenty of time to swivel the ball round in front of midwicket, with strength and timing abounding

50.3

Anderson to Prince, no run, outside off, left alone

50.4

Anderson to Prince, no run, round the wicket again, outside off, angles back in and well left on length

50.5

Anderson to Prince, no run, defended down on the front foot

50.6

Anderson to Prince, no run, crunched off towards midwicket

End of over 51 (4 runs) South Africa 182/4
AG Prince    13* (36b 3x4)      JM Anderson    17-3-52-1
JH Kallis    37* (49b 6x4)      PD Collingwood    2-0-12-0

Panesar into the attack now. This stand worth 47 so far

51.1

Panesar to Kallis, 1 run, on the legs, pushed behind square and a gentle single results

51.2

Panesar to Prince, no run, outside off, defended down on the front foot

51.3

Panesar to Prince, no run, sneaks out positively and drives forward out to mid on

51.4

Panesar to Prince, no run, "Go-i" says Ambrose as the batsman's forced to quickly defend forward

51.5

Panesar to Prince, no run, leans right over on the front foot and pushes to the covers

51.6

Panesar to Prince, no run, defended forward on the front foot

End of over 52 (1 run) South Africa 183/4
AG Prince    13* (41b 3x4)      MS Panesar    1-0-1-0
JH Kallis    38* (50b 6x4)      JM Anderson    17-3-52-1

52.1

Anderson to Kallis, no run, oh, didn't get hold of that one at all, a would-be hook which fell way short of Sidebottom at mid on. Poor shot

52.2

Anderson to Kallis, no run, driven on the up to mid on

52.3

Anderson to Kallis, no run, worked out on the front foot to short midwicket

52.4

Anderson to Kallis, no run, defended forward

52.5

Anderson to Kallis, no run, oh, nearly there for Anderson, hits the seam and moves away just outside off, Kallis jabbed right around it on the front foot

52.6

Anderson to Kallis, no run, done him again, beating the outside edge all ends up

It continues to spit a bit

End of over 53 (maiden) South Africa 183/4
JH Kallis    38* (56b 6x4)      JM Anderson    18-4-52-1
AG Prince    13* (41b 3x4)      MS Panesar    1-0-1-0

53.1

Panesar to Prince, FOUR, driven out on the front foot

53.2

Panesar to Prince, no run, defended on the front foot

53.3

Panesar to Prince, no run, defended again in line with off

53.4

Panesar to Prince, no run, turned back in and defended on the front foot

53.5

Panesar to Prince, no run, more turn in, defended on the front foot and if you want the keeper's opinion, "That's lovely Mont, lovely, that's the way."

53.6

Panesar to Prince, no run, defended on the front foot this time

End of over 54 (4 runs) South Africa 187/4
AG Prince    17* (47b 4x4)      MS Panesar    2-0-5-0
JH Kallis    38* (56b 6x4)      JM Anderson    18-4-52-1

The rain seems to be closing in a touch now, the groundstaff are ready once more

54.1

Anderson to Kallis, no run, chased it round down leg

54.2

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

54.3

Anderson to Kallis, 1 run, clipped away off the legs in front of square

54.4

Anderson to Prince, no run, lets it go through down off

54.5

Anderson to Prince, 1 no ball, outside off, the batsman shoulders arms as a no-ball hurries down the channel

54.5

Anderson to Prince, no run, outside off, the batsman lets it go on

54.6

Anderson to Prince, no run, round the wicket, lets it go on once more

End of over 55 (2 runs) South Africa 189/4
AG Prince    17* (51b 4x4)      JM Anderson    19-4-54-1
JH Kallis    39* (59b 6x4)      MS Panesar    2-0-5-0

55.1

Panesar to Kallis, FOUR, short ball, some width outside off, wristed away in front of point

55.2

Panesar to Kallis, 1 run, on off, played down off the back foot

55.3

Panesar to Prince, no run, defended down off the back foot

55.4

Panesar to Prince, 1 run, worked out to the gully

55.5

Panesar to Kallis, no run, on middle and off, the batsman gets right over it and pushes it out to short midwicket

55.6

Panesar to Kallis, 1 run, on middle, wristed over to square leg for a straightforward single

End of over 56 (7 runs) South Africa 196/4
JH Kallis    45* (63b 7x4)      MS Panesar    3-0-12-0
AG Prince    18* (53b 4x4)      JM Anderson    19-4-54-1

Flintoff back into the attack now, Vaughan in search of a wicket to break this partnership. Two slips and a gully in at the moment

56.1

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, fired through the channel, let go

56.2

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, some swing away outside off, the batsman shoulders arms

Tea will be taken at 3.55pm by the way

56.3

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, on the front foot, clamped out to the covers

56.4

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, zipped through, the batsman leaves this one

56.5

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, defended back down in line with off

56.6

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, defended forward on the front foot

End of over 57 (maiden) South Africa 196/4
JH Kallis    45* (69b 7x4)      A Flintoff    17-4-48-2
AG Prince    18* (53b 4x4)      MS Panesar    3-0-12-0

57.1

Panesar to Prince, no run, outside off, some spin back in to him but he leaves it

57.2

Panesar to Prince, 1 run, forced on to the middle and this time and Prince steers it with a push to square

57.3

Panesar to Kallis, 1 run, on the legs, clipped to square and Anderson runs round to return it in

57.4

Panesar to Prince, no run, width outside off, came back in, the batsman pads it away

57.5

Panesar to Prince, no run, outside off, more padding

57.6

Panesar to Prince, no run, pushed out to the covers on the front foot

End of over 58 (2 runs) South Africa 198/4
AG Prince    19* (58b 4x4)      MS Panesar    4-0-14-0
JH Kallis    46* (70b 7x4)      A Flintoff    17-4-48-2

58.1

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, forced it through on a good length

58.2

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, defended down on the back foot

58.3

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, outside off, the batsman shoulders arms and lets it go through

58.4

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, pushed forward on the front foot

58.5

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, outside off, lets it go through

58.6

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, good length through, the batsman leaves this one alone

End of over 59 (maiden) South Africa 198/4
JH Kallis    46* (76b 7x4)      A Flintoff    18-5-48-2
AG Prince    19* (58b 4x4)      MS Panesar    4-0-14-0

59.1

Panesar to Prince, no run, width outside off, forced down off the back foot

59.2

Panesar to Prince, 1 run, pushed off the toes to square

59.3

Panesar to Kallis, no run, on the legs, pushed forward

59.4

Panesar to Kallis, no run, right over it in defence

59.5

Panesar to Kallis, no run, defended on the front foot once more

59.6

Panesar to Kallis, no run, defended forward

End of over 60 (1 run) South Africa 199/4
JH Kallis    46* (80b 7x4)      MS Panesar    5-0-15-0
AG Prince    20* (60b 4x4)      A Flintoff    18-5-48-2

60.1

Flintoff to Prince, no run, round the wicket, reverse-swung it up to the batsman in line with off, who plants a front-footed sturdy defence down

60.2

Flintoff to Prince, no run, short and wide from the bowler who gets away with it as the batsman chops down into the turf

60.3

Flintoff to Prince, no run, defended on the back foot

60.4

Flintoff to Prince, no run, defended once more

60.5

Flintoff to Prince, no run, on middle, pushed out to short midwicket

60.6

Flintoff to Prince, no run, round the wicket still, driven out to Sidebottom in the covers who dives right on top of it in stopping it

End of over 61 (maiden) South Africa 199/4
AG Prince    20* (66b 4x4)      A Flintoff    19-6-48-2
JH Kallis    46* (80b 7x4)      MS Panesar    5-0-15-0

61.1

Panesar to Kallis, no run, defended forward

61.2

Panesar to Kallis, no run, defended once more

61.3

Panesar to Kallis, no run, outside off, driven out to the covers

61.4

Panesar to Kallis, 1 run, on middle, flicked away to square, they think about the second but quickly decide against it

61.5

Panesar to Prince, no run, outside off, some width, crushed into the ground

61.6

Panesar to Prince, no run, on the front foot, driven out to mid on

End of over 62 (1 run) South Africa 200/4
AG Prince    20* (68b 4x4)      MS Panesar    6-0-16-0
JH Kallis    47* (84b 7x4)      A Flintoff    19-6-48-2

The last over before tea coming up now

62.1

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, over the wicket, good length, the batsman quickly decides to let it go on down

62.2

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, on middle, defended back down out to mid on

62.3

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, bouncer, straight, and forces the batsman to duck under it

62.4

Flintoff to Kallis, 1 run, on the legs, clipped out to midwicket

62.5

Flintoff to Prince, FOUR, full one thrown out deliberately wide, and Prince sends that one in the air, through the gap between the slips and gully

62.6

Flintoff to Prince, no run, outside off again, driven straight to Sidebottom at mid off this time

So that's tea then after this elongated session, with South Africa closing in on England's total, four down, and Kallis fighting well. Join Will Luke after the break.

End of over 63 (5 runs) South Africa 205/4
AG Prince    24* (70b 5x4)      A Flintoff    20-6-53-2
JH Kallis    48* (88b 7x4)      MS Panesar    6-0-16-0

5.25pm The players are back out and we are set to start again, not sure for how long but at least we have some cricket. Ryan Sidebottom will start off with two slips and a gully for Kallis.

5.15pm "Now they are slowly being peeled off again, but let's not hold our breath," says Miller. "For slowly, read quickly. Only the middle covers remain now." Play might begin at 5.25pm - that's the plan, anyway, and there's not a cat-in-hell's chance of getting the final 28 overs in. Stick with us, back soon.

5.00pm Not a great sign I'm afraid as more covers get pulled on. "Even more covers now, and this is starting to get a bit ominous. Still not raining at all heavily, but the threat is there."

4.50pm "Oh dear, the covers are coming back on," Miller says, "and there's a bit of slow-handclapping going on as a result. Not the full monty, but the middle and the run-ups are covered, maybe only as a precaution."

We're being deluged by emails from people claiming Flintoff doesn't have 200 Test wickets, due to his involvement in ICC World XI (the Super Series in 2005). And yes, yes, you're all nearly right: Flintoff does have 200 Test wickets, but only (only!) a mere 193 for England. Hope that clears things up. Play will begin at 4.55pm.

4.30pm The covers are coming off, which is excellent news, but there are significant puddles on those tarpaulins. Not yet sure when we'll be starting again and the forecast is fairly shabby, too. But it's not the end of the world - far from it, in fact.

Greetings, cricket fans. Will here. I'm afraid there's rain in the air at the moment, so we might be in for a bit of a delay after tea. Dense clouds and humidity abound, Miller says. Never fear, Cricinfo is here - and what a feast of goodness we have in store for you. There's the Cricinfo Quiz and Fantasy Cricket. If you have a website, you can whack our scores in and make it look all professional with our widgets. For those without a TV, try our 3D animation, which is a bit of fun and there's a toolbar to make your browser into a cricket-friendly beast. There. What more could you ask for? (don't answer that)

63.1

Sidebottom to Kallis, no run, pushed across Kallis, a loosener, and he watches sail easily past off stump

63.2

Sidebottom to Kallis, no run, slightly closer to off stump, but again left alone

63.3

Sidebottom to Kallis, no run, not much swing first up from Sidebottom, outside off and Kallis happy to leave it alone

63.4

Sidebottom to Kallis, no run, fuller outside off, but still no shot needed from Kallis...Sidebottom has to make him play more

63.5

Sidebottom to Kallis, 2 runs, straighter and flicked away through square leg, comes back for two and brings up his first half-century of the series off 93 balls

63.6

Sidebottom to Kallis, no run, driven firmly up to mid-on to end the over

End of over 64 (2 runs) South Africa 207/4
JH Kallis    50* (94b 7x4)      RJ Sidebottom    17-6-51-1
AG Prince    24* (70b 5x4)      A Flintoff    20-6-53-2

So then. What can England do to stave off South Africa? They fought back quite well in the second session, but urgently need to break through again. Here's Flintoff, around the wicket, with three slips, a gully and a short-leg

64.1

Flintoff to Prince, no run, Prince punches this to mid-off

64.2

Flintoff to Prince, no run, good line on off stump which is defended

64.3

Flintoff to Prince, no run, turned to leg

64.4

Flintoff to Prince, no run, punched back to Flintoff who's so quick to field off his own bowling

64.5

Flintoff to Prince, no run, fuller and again he pushes this back to Flintoff

Cver the wicket

64.6

Flintoff to Prince, no run, angling across Prince this time who leaves it alone

End of over 65 (maiden) South Africa 207/4
AG Prince    24* (76b 5x4)      A Flintoff    21-7-53-2
JH Kallis    50* (94b 7x4)      RJ Sidebottom    17-6-51-1

65.1

Sidebottom to Kallis, no run, Kallis leaves this alone

65.2

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

65.3

Sidebottom to Kallis, FOUR, majestic. Simply, utterly majestic - flicking this through midwicket with poise and a flourish. Huge power too

Sidebottom's going around the wicket

65.4

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

65.5

Sidebottom to Kallis, 1 run, pushed out to the off side

65.6

Sidebottom to Prince, FOUR, another four, a really classy one, cover-driving this with great timing. Dreadful, wide ball swinging wider still

End of over 66 (9 runs) South Africa 216/4
AG Prince    28* (77b 6x4)      RJ Sidebottom    18-6-60-1
JH Kallis    55* (99b 8x4)      A Flintoff    21-7-53-2

66.1

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, what a ball, and Kallis hasn't seen that! A yorker which he tries to jab down on and it misses his off stump by an inch. Perilously close

66.2

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, a fast bouncer which flies past Kallis's nose. Edgbaston roars their approval, for the first time in the match

There's a real late-afternoon atmosphere now, all cheering Flintoff on

66.3

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, another quick bouncer which he ducks beneath

66.4

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, angled out to the off side

66.5

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, another fast yorker, hits the toe and that's plumb. Surely. No! My word - Kallis has escaped there. Flintoff is furious

66.6

Flintoff to Kallis, 1 run, flicked through midwicket

Flintoff is absolutely raging. It's very rare you see him lose his cool, and he's asking Aleem Dar about it - he just cannot believe it. Time to cool down, I think...and he's off to deep square leg

End of over 67 (1 run) South Africa 217/4
JH Kallis    56* (105b 8x4)      A Flintoff    22-7-54-2
AG Prince    28* (77b 6x4)      RJ Sidebottom    18-6-60-1

Monty into the attack

67.1

Panesar to Kallis, 2 runs, tossed up, flicked to leg

67.2

Panesar to Kallis, FOUR, over the top for four! Great shot.

67.3

Panesar to Kallis, no run, tossed up on leg stump, Kallis tries to flick through midwicket but can't time it

67.4

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

Over the wicket

67.5

Panesar to Prince, 1 run, flicked to leg

67.6

Panesar to Kallis, 1 run, flicked through midwicket

End of over 68 (9 runs) South Africa 226/4
JH Kallis    64* (110b 9x4)      MS Panesar    7-0-25-0
AG Prince    29* (78b 6x4)      A Flintoff    22-7-54-2

Flintoff to Kallis. Oh yes.

68.1

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, a fired-up bouncer to which Kallis snaps his neck out of the way. It's fast, it's straight, and Kallis avoids facial surgery by an inch

That was quick, mark my words

68.2

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, 85.7mph and left alone outside off

"It's Donald v Atherton in reverse," says Miller

68.3

Flintoff to Kallis, no run, a swing and a miss outside off! This is terrific Test match cricket here, a wonderful sight to see Flintoff roar up to the crease against one of the very best of modern-day batsmen

68.4

Flintoff to Kallis, OUT, he's BOWLED HIM! What a ball from Flintoff and what an over, fired in at off stump and Kallis is beaten for pace and outswing, his off stump knocked back several metres

JH Kallis b Flintoff 64 (141m 114b 9x4 0x6) SR: 56.14

And Flintoff celebrates, arching back and roaring his angry delight - it's been a terrific, enthralling couple of overs.

The key to Kallis's dismissal was Flintoff's never-say-die attitude. He felt cheated and wanted revenge. Flintoff to de Villiers

68.5

Flintoff to de Villiers, no run, another fast yorker spearing into de Villiers' middle stump. That, too, was quick - upwards of 86mph

Flintoff is as pumped up as you can imagine. Puce in the face

68.6

Flintoff to de Villiers, no run, 88.7mph and it's left alone by de Villiers. Edgbaston stands for Flintoff who's produced two memorable overs, the type of inspirational cricket England have missed from him for 18 months

Still, South Africa are in a fairly handy position. These two, however, need a partnership

End of over 69 (wicket maiden) South Africa 226/5
AB de Villiers    0* (2b)      A Flintoff    23-8-54-3
AG Prince    29* (78b 6x4)      MS Panesar    7-0-25-0

Panesar out. Anderson in, and he's around the wicket

69.1

Anderson to Prince, no run, angling down the leg side - poor start

Prince really needs to concentrate here. Edgbaston is buzzing, as are England - he just has to buckle down and bed in

69.2

Anderson to Prince, 1 run, and he gets a nice, juicy little leg-side ball which he picks off for a single

69.3

Anderson to de Villiers, 4 leg byes, well wide of the off stump

69.4

Anderson to de Villiers, no run, again too wide, again left alone

69.5

Anderson to de Villiers, no run, again left alone

69.6

Anderson to de Villiers, no run, nudged to leg

End of over 70 (5 runs) South Africa 231/5
AB de Villiers    0* (6b)      JM Anderson    20-4-55-1
AG Prince    30* (80b 6x4)      A Flintoff    23-8-54-3

Flintoff to continue around the wicket. And he still looks in a terrific, fierce bad mood

70.1

Flintoff to Prince, no run, fast, but outside the off stump and left alone

70.2

Flintoff to Prince, no run, takes the outside edge and Pietersen fields very well at gully, diving to his right

70.3

Flintoff to Prince, no run, a touch too straight, 88.4mph, and nudged to leg

70.4

Flintoff to Prince, 1 leg bye, too short and too straight, turned off his hip

Back over the wicket

70.5

Flintoff to de Villiers, no run, left alone outside off

70.6

Flintoff to de Villiers, 1 run, flicked around the corner

End of over 71 (2 runs) South Africa 233/5
AB de Villiers    1* (8b)      A Flintoff    24-8-55-3
AG Prince    30* (84b 6x4)      JM Anderson    20-4-55-1

71.1

Anderson to de Villiers, no run, edged him and he's caught! Or is he? No, they're not even appealing, but replays show he did get an edge on that. That's very bizarre

71.2

Anderson to de Villiers, no run, punched back to the bowler

71.3

Anderson to de Villiers, no run, too wide and left alone

71.4

Anderson to de Villiers, no run, better. Much straighter and forcing the defensive

71.5

Anderson to de Villiers, no run, that's a terrific ball, squaring de Villiers up with a nasty little leg-cutter, but the batsman's right behind it and defends solidly

71.6

Anderson to de Villiers, no run, short and wide

End of over 72 (maiden) South Africa 233/5
AB de Villiers    1* (14b)      JM Anderson    21-5-55-1
AG Prince    30* (84b 6x4)      A Flintoff    24-8-55-3

72.1

Flintoff to Prince, 1 run, attempted yorker but it comes out as a full toss, and he flicks this to leg

72.2

Flintoff to de Villiers, no run, quick, fast bouncer which rattles into de Villiers' chest - in fact, he played that really well, nudging it to leg

72.3

Flintoff to de Villiers, FOUR, ooh that was quick, too - but came off the bat with equal zip, through midwicket for four

72.4

Flintoff to de Villiers, OUT, got him, Flintoff's on fire here! An 88.4mph bouncer which lures de Villiers into a hook, but he top-edges a skier above Sidebottom at fine-leg. Steadying himself, he takes it comfortably and England are right back in this match

AB de Villiers c Sidebottom b Flintoff 5 (17m 17b 1x4 0x6) SR: 29.41

de Villiers is absolutely spitting nails at himself for attempting that hook. The pressure told

Prince on strike as the batsmen crossed. Flintoff around the wicket

72.5

Flintoff to Prince, 1 leg bye, down the leg side and Boucher'll be on strike

72.6

Flintoff to Boucher, no run, he's not seen that at all! It was wide of the off stump and you could easily hear Boucher roar "awww" as he ducked and weaved himself out of the way

End of over 73 (6 runs) South Africa 239/6
MV Boucher    0* (1b)      A Flintoff    25-8-60-4
AG Prince    31* (86b 6x4)      JM Anderson    21-5-55-1

Boucher's upset about the sightscreen, and Alastair Cook's had a word. "If we had it, you've got to cope with it" - that's roughly the story, anyway. Boucher and Cook won't be sharing a pint after this. Anderson around the wicket

73.1

Anderson to Prince, no run, defended solidly by Prince

73.2

Anderson to Prince, 1 run, nudged to leg, and Bell sends in a rocket throw to restrict them to one

England have lifted themselves here remarkably. Thanks to Flintoff, but everything's in sync

73.3

Anderson to Boucher, 3 runs, squeezed out on the front through extra cover and good running brings them three

Anderson is around the wicket to Prince

73.4

Anderson to Prince, no run, better line but Prince is calm, as ever, and just leaves it alone

73.5

Anderson to Prince, no run, excellent ball cutting back into Prince, but he's behind it solidly

73.6

Anderson to Prince, FOUR, sweetly timed - he's played that so calmly: head absolutely dead-still and on-driving this through mid-on for four

End of over 74 (8 runs) South Africa 247/6
AG Prince    36* (91b 7x4)      JM Anderson    22-5-63-1
MV Boucher    3* (2b)      A Flintoff    25-8-60-4

Flintoff to Boucher

74.1

Flintoff to Boucher, 4 runs, Boucher flicks this through midwicket calmly, for four - an all-run four, but four nonetheless

74.2

Flintoff to Boucher, no run, short of a length, turned to short-leg

74.3

Flintoff to Boucher, no run, Boucher's back and across, defending on the back foot

Flintoff just looks to be tiring here. No surprise given it's his 26th over of the day...and his sixth over of this spell

74.4

Flintoff to Boucher, no run, Boucher's not seen that - it's a leg-side full toss and he jerks out of the way, his eyes wide with part-terror and part-astonishment

He is not happy about that sightscreen. Flintoff only needs to get it straight...

74.5

Flintoff to Boucher, FOUR, oh what a shot! Another attempted yorker but it's a half-volley on leg-stump which he picks off through long-on for four. Top shot

74.6

Flintoff to Boucher, no run, pushed out to the off side

End of over 75 (8 runs) South Africa 255/6
MV Boucher    11* (8b 1x4)      A Flintoff    26-8-68-4
AG Prince    36* (91b 7x4)      JM Anderson    22-5-63-1

The umpires are having a chat about the light I think, but it's not quite bad enough to come off

75.1

Anderson to Prince, 1 run, Anderson hits him with a nasty bouncer which rattles him on the arm

The pair exchange words at the end of the over. This is as spicy as the curry I'm going to devour after play

75.2

Anderson to Boucher, no run, full and straight and defended

75.3

Anderson to Boucher, no run, great line and length, but equally well defended on the front foot

75.4

Anderson to Boucher, no run, just outside the off stump, Boucher shuffles across to defend

75.5

Anderson to Boucher, no run, wide of the off stump, swinging wider still

75.6

Anderson to Boucher, no run, the most solid of forward defensives by Boucher

End of over 76 (1 run) South Africa 256/6
MV Boucher    11* (13b 1x4)      JM Anderson    23-5-64-1
AG Prince    37* (92b 7x4)      A Flintoff    26-8-68-4

Here we go. The new ball is due in four overs, that will be a crucial time. The atmosphere is bubbling early on...mainly because Andrew Flintoff has the ball. Let's rumble.

10.50am Morning all. Like Will and Andrew I'm fairly up for this session...we ten minutes away from the start and I'm still waiting for my tea. Come on Will.

Here's Andrew McGlashan for the first hour or so while I go and make tea.

"The covers are being peeled off, the players have wandered back towards the dressing-rooms, and everyone is frankly utterly up for it," Andrew 'never knowingly not up for it' Miller says.

The weather's set fair, Miller notes. Less humid (it was like a laundrette in Britain yesterday) and reasonably clear skies, and we'll be on time too, which is good news allround. If you have anything interesting to say, do it. And if you spot Flintoff's spell to Kallis on Youtube or wherever else, I demand you drop us a line.

10.30am Good morning and a very warm welcome to the third day's play at Edgbaston. I'm Will Luke, and am joined by Andrew Miller who's found his way to the ground and is equally bushy tailed and, frankly, up for it. England had one abject session yesterday, a slightly less abject afternoon session, and a thrillingly exciting final session: a mixed bag, therefore. South Africa, however, lead by 25 and with England's bowling showing such worrying inconsistency, the tourists could easily extend their lead into a nasty one come lunchtime. In short, as ever, this first hour is humongously important for both sides.

6.35pm Play has been called off for the day, as suspected, so that be stumps. Thanks for joining us today and do tune in again tomorrow for the third day in what promises to be another entertaining occasion. Till then, goodbye.

6.25pm It seems pretty unlikely there'll be any more play this evening, as it's getting darker by the minute. We'll keep you updated.

Umpire watch: they're going to have another chat about the light. In fact, they're taking a look at the sightscreen behind the batsmen before offering the light. They take it. What an hour's play it has been, South Africa making 51 for 2 - both wickets falling to an inspired Flintoff whose memorable jousting with Kallis has sparked England into life. South Africa are still in a useful position here, with the chance of extending their lead into something dominating tomorrow - but England only need an early breakthrough tomorrow before they're into South Africa's tail. All in all, it's far tighter a contest than it was this morning when England's bowling was so awry - so insipid.

76.1

Flintoff to Prince, no run, round the wicket, banged in short outside off stump and rises past Prince as he drops his hands calmly

Three slips and a gully

76.2

Flintoff to Prince, 4 leg byes, angled down the leg side, takes the pad and flies wide of Tim Ambrose for the first runs of the day...it's going to be hard to replicate the intensity of yesterday evening for Flintoff

76.3

Flintoff to Prince, 1 no ball, comes into Prince again, takes him high on the leg and bobbles into the on side

"Gleaming morning," Miller wibbles, "and a real buzz around the ground already."

76.3

Flintoff to Prince, 1 run, tucked from off stump into the leg side, good use of Flintoff's angle there as Prince just waited for the ball

76.4

Flintoff to Boucher, 1 run, back of a length, tucked wide of square leg and Boucher has his first run of the day

76.5

Flintoff to Prince, no run, down the leg side, there's a noise as it goes through but it's just pad, which is good for England because Ambrose dropped it

76.6

Flintoff to Prince, 1 run, worked off the stumps again, into the gap at midwicket and a nice positive start by South Africa this morning...a loosening over from Flintoff

End of over 77 (8 runs) South Africa 264/6
AG Prince    39* (98b 7x4)      A Flintoff    27-8-72-4
MV Boucher    12* (14b 1x4)      JM Anderson    23-5-64-1

Ryan Sidebottom will start off at the other end

77.1

Sidebottom to Prince, no run, outside off, dropped into the off side without any timing...a real gentle start from Sidebottom, who still looked below par yesterday

77.2

Sidebottom to Prince, no run, tighter to off stump, Prince comes across and defends into the off side

77.3

Sidebottom to Prince, no run, full on middle and off, nudged back up the pitch where Sidebottom fields in his follow through, the hurls the ball back at Ambrose

77.4

Sidebottom to Prince, no run, good line from Sidebottom, Prince overs up on off stump and defends into the leg side

77.5

Sidebottom to Prince, no run, comes half forward outside off, plays square on the off side out to point...Prince again seems in complete control of himself

77.6

Sidebottom to Prince, OUT, gone! what a huge wicket, full and wide of off stump and draws Prince into a rare loose drive, a thin edge flies through comfortably to Ambrose who swallows it. A vital blow by Sidebottom, Prince was very capable of marshalling the lower order

AG Prince c †Ambrose b Sidebottom 39 (166m 104b 7x4 0x6) SR: 37.50

End of over 78 (wicket maiden) South Africa 264/7
     RJ Sidebottom    19-7-60-2
MV Boucher    12* (14b 1x4)      A Flintoff    27-8-72-4

Morne Morkel is the new batsman, but he's not on strike

78.1

Flintoff to Boucher, no run, wide outside off stump, Boucher happy to watch it go through

That was a really loose shot from Prince, a very wide ball

78.2

Flintoff to Boucher, 1 run, ooh, dropped, takes the outside edge and flies to the right of Collingwood at second slip, it would have been a sitter for third slip but it was just palmed round the post by Collingwood

Why, oh why, aren't there three slips?

78.3

Flintoff to Morkel, 1 run, off the mark with a confident clip off his toes down to long leg

Still just two slips and a gully

78.4

Flintoff to Boucher, no run, pushed firmly into the covers, positive stride from Boucher

78.5

Flintoff to Boucher, 2 runs, neatly flicked off the stumps, great timing from Boucher and it needed a brilliant piece of work from Sidebottom, sprinting round from long leg, to prevent the boundary

78.6

Flintoff to Boucher, no run, good line outside off, left alone to end the over

End of over 79 (4 runs) South Africa 268/7
MV Boucher    15* (19b 1x4)      A Flintoff    28-8-76-4
M Morkel    1* (1b)      RJ Sidebottom    19-7-60-2

79.1

Sidebottom to Morkel, no run, wide and swinging away further outside off stump, Morkel not interested

Morkel has some ability with the bat even though he hasn't shown it so far this series

79.2

Sidebottom to Morkel, no run, too wide again, but a hint of swing for Sidebottom, he needs to start it closer to off stump

79.3

Sidebottom to Morkel, no run, tighter line this time, Morkel plays inside the ball

79.4

Sidebottom to Morkel, no run, left alone again, Sidebottom not quite getting it right in this over

79.5

Sidebottom to Morkel, no run, fuller on off stump, Morkel drives up to mid-off but without much timing

79.6

Sidebottom to Morkel, no run, that's a cracker to end the over, pitched up and swinging away on off stump, Morkel is beaten, too good for him

End of over 80 (maiden) South Africa 268/7
M Morkel    1* (7b)      RJ Sidebottom    20-8-60-2
MV Boucher    15* (19b 1x4)      A Flintoff    28-8-76-4

Here it comes, the new ball is taken and England have the tail to bowl at...Vaughan adds an extra slip, three and a fine gully

80.1

Flintoff to Boucher, 1 run, full on off stump, jabbed into the leg side and Boucher collects a quick single to expose Morkel

Three slips, fifth slip and a short leg

80.2

Flintoff to Morkel, no run, pushed across the left hander and carries nicely through to Ambrose at decent pace...85mph

80.3

Flintoff to Morkel, no run, first attempted yorker of the day, Morkel digs it out down to mid-on with a resoundingly meaty clunk

80.4

Flintoff to Morkel, no run, banged in back of a length, Morkel stays on the back foot and defends very correctly into the off side

80.5

Flintoff to Morkel, no run, nice looking shot, full on off stump and driven into the covers without finding the gap

80.6

Flintoff to Morkel, FOUR, low full toss outside off, another attempted yorker, Morkel gets enough bat on it to beat backward point and the ball races away

End of over 81 (5 runs) South Africa 273/7
M Morkel    5* (12b 1x4)      A Flintoff    29-8-81-4
MV Boucher    16* (20b 1x4)      RJ Sidebottom    20-8-60-2

81.1

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, on middle and off, defended up to mid-on

81.2

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, comes forward, meets it with a solid forward defensive

81.3

Sidebottom to Boucher, 1 run, hint of swing back into Boucher, he plays it well and works a single down to Panesar at long leg...now, can Sidebottom get it right to Morkel

81.4

Sidebottom to Morkel, 2 leg byes, down the leg side, takes the pad but this time Ambrose gets a glove on it and prevents the boundary

81.5

Sidebottom to Morkel, no run, down the leg side again, Sidebottom not at his best

The groundstaff are getting in position, not a great sign

81.6

Sidebottom to Morkel, 1 run, tucked from off stump, keeps the strike with a single out to deep square leg

End of over 82 (4 runs) South Africa 277/7
M Morkel    6* (15b 1x4)      RJ Sidebottom    21-8-62-2
MV Boucher    17* (23b 1x4)      A Flintoff    29-8-81-4

82.1

Flintoff to Morkel, FOUR, cut away in the air, just wide of point and very safe. More useful runs for Morkel as Flintoff drops a touch short

82.2

Flintoff to Morkel, FOUR, round the wicket now, that's a quality shot from Morkel, standing tall and driven firmly past mid-off for consecutive boundaries

82.3

Flintoff to Morkel, no run, pulls his length back, jags into Morkel's thigh pad and drops into the leg side

82.4

Flintoff to Morkel, 2 leg byes, drifts down the leg side, takes the thigh pad towards fine leg...Panesar is very square so it's a comfortable two for the total

Some rain coming down

82.5

Flintoff to Morkel, no run, outside off, back of a length and left alone

82.6

Flintoff to Morkel, no run, fuller outside off, another leave from Morkel who played that over very well to extend South Africa's lead beyond 50

"It's rain properly," says Miller

End of over 83 (10 runs) South Africa 287/7
M Morkel    14* (21b 3x4)      A Flintoff    30-8-89-4
MV Boucher    17* (23b 1x4)      RJ Sidebottom    21-8-62-2

Well, it looked as though everyone was heading off for a moment, but the rain has been blown away so we can all continue. Things just getting settled. Now there's a delay because of the advertising hoardings not being covered. It's a little village, really

83.1

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, turned into the leg side, Sidebottom fields in his follow through

83.2

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, good shape back into Boucher, taken on the pad and there's a big appeal from Sidebottom but it's done much and is also high

83.3

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, full outside off, Boucher doesn't time his drive down to mid-off

83.4

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, down the leg side, low catch taken by Ambrose and there's an appeal...but it came off Boucher's pocket

83.5

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, more good swing into Boucher, gets an inside edge into the pad which bobbles into the off side

83.6

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, another good shout from Sidebottom, it looked pretty good but Steve Davis turned it down...that was close, but replays show it's just heading over the stumps. Good decision.

Now it's over to Will for the rest of the session

End of over 84 (maiden) South Africa 287/7
MV Boucher    17* (29b 1x4)      RJ Sidebottom    22-9-62-2
M Morkel    14* (21b 3x4)      A Flintoff    30-8-89-4

Morning all. Here's Anderson

84.1

Anderson to Morkel, no run, half a shout as he flicks Morkel on the top of his front pad, but it's about as hopeful an appeal as you can imagine

Three slips

84.2

Anderson to Morkel, no run, fuller and angling across Morkel who plays a horrid slap across the line and is very fortunate not to edge it. That was a right sloppy slap

84.3

Anderson to Morkel, no run, a very fine delivery swinging back into Morkel, but he jabs this out

84.4

Anderson to Morkel, no run, more inswing into the left-hander, but an impressively resolute forward-defensive from the giant

84.5

Anderson to Morkel, no run, well bowled but very well played. No sloppy slap from Morkel this time, as Anderson shapes one across him and it holds its line

84.6

Anderson to Morkel, no run, good line on middle-and-off, defended solidly by the left-hander

End of over 85 (maiden) South Africa 287/7
M Morkel    14* (27b 3x4)      JM Anderson    24-6-64-1
MV Boucher    17* (29b 1x4)      RJ Sidebottom    22-9-62-2

If the cricket's not entertaining you, then have a look at all the other splendid goodness we have on the site. I'll give you the links at the end of the over

85.1

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, swinging back into Boucher, he defends

85.2

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, angling across the right-hander who ignores it like a legend

85.3

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, a real waste of a delivery, fired down the leg side

85.4

Sidebottom to Boucher, 1 run, neatly pushed out to cover for a quick single

85.5

Sidebottom to Morkel, no run, firmly punched off the back foot just behind square, and Collingwood pulls off an impressive save to his left at gully. That's more the Collingwood we know

85.6

Sidebottom to Morkel, no run, firmly defended

End of over 86 (1 run) South Africa 288/7
M Morkel    14* (29b 3x4)      RJ Sidebottom    23-9-63-2
MV Boucher    18* (33b 1x4)      JM Anderson    24-6-64-1

Here comes Anderson

All sorts to offer you today. There's the Cricinfo Quiz and Fantasy Cricket. If you have a website, you can whack our scores in and make it look all professional with our widgets. For those without a TV, try our 3D animation, which is a bit of fun and there's a toolbar to make your browser into a cricket-friendly beast.

86.1

Anderson to Boucher, no run, wide of the off stump, and only a touch of outswing. Ignored

86.2

Anderson to Boucher, 1 run, swinging into Boucher who again times this very sweetly, but finds mid-on. Still, he steals a single - and why not?

A warm welcome to any late-comers this morning, and to all 30,000 of you reading. It's a truly epic day's cricket we have in store for you

86.3

Anderson to Morkel, no run, Anderson pushes this across the left hander who very nearly drives, but wisely chooses not to

86.4

Anderson to Morkel, FOUR, Morkel's patience runs out here, driving loosely on the up but it flies up and over gully's head for four. Not in control, but he gave it a fair amount of humpty

86.5

Anderson to Morkel, no run, excellent bouncer which beats Morkel for pace. He went to hook but was about 2 seconds late on it

Time for Monty v Morkel, methinks

86.6

Anderson to Morkel, OUT, got him! The bouncer from Anderson is followed by the dummy delivery, full and straight and Morkel's trapped in front

M Morkel lbw b Anderson 18 (46m 33b 4x4 0x6) SR: 54.54

End of over 87 (5 runs) South Africa 293/8
     JM Anderson    25-6-69-2
MV Boucher    19* (35b 1x4)      RJ Sidebottom    23-9-63-2

"Lots of pantomime boos to greet the new batsman," Andrew notes

87.1

Sidebottom to Boucher, FOUR, shot! A bright, shiny, ribbon-wrapped gift outside Boucher's off stump and he gleefully opens it up through extra cover with a beautifully timed four

87.2

Sidebottom to Boucher, 1 run, straighter, but Boucher turns it to leg and scampers a single

Nel on strike. Is it Andre or Gunther? Time will tell

87.3

Sidebottom to Nel, no run, Sidebottom angles this across Nel who leaves it alone

87.4

Sidebottom to Nel, no run, a yelping burp of an appeal from Sidebottom before realising that Nel got the thickest and noisiest of inside edges

87.5

Sidebottom to Nel, no run, what a delivery! Swinging into Nel who tries to do a Pietersen and whip him over midwicket for 12. He misses. Sidebottom smiles patronisingly, and Nel laughs at his own inadequacy

87.6

Sidebottom to Nel, OUT, got him this time. A repeat of the previous ball but it was a touch fuller and Nel, tried to turn him to leg, but his middle and leg stumps are splayed with pleasing symmetry. That was a bit out

A Nel b Sidebottom 0 (5m 4b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00

End of over 88 (5 runs) South Africa 298/9
     RJ Sidebottom    24-9-68-3
MV Boucher    24* (37b 2x4)      JM Anderson    25-6-69-2

88.1

Anderson to Boucher, no run, wide of the off stump

88.2

Anderson to Boucher, no run, swinging into the right-hander - immense, Waqar-like swing but well defended

88.3

Anderson to Boucher, no run, a fishy play-and-miss outside off

88.4

Anderson to Boucher, 1 run, clipped off his legs and well fielded by Panesar, running around from deep midwicket to save four...

...and more importantly, they get Ntini on strike

88.5

Anderson to Ntini, no run, an inswinging bouncer that Ntini sways out of the way

88.6

Anderson to Ntini, no run, punched out off the back foot

End of over 89 (1 run) South Africa 299/9
M Ntini    0* (2b)      JM Anderson    26-6-70-2
MV Boucher    25* (41b 2x4)      RJ Sidebottom    24-9-68-3

"The Barmy Army are holding a fundraising road show on Sunday 10th August at Syresham Cricket Club in south Northants," says Scott Wilson. "Ex-England bowler Dean Headley is playing and some of the funds raised are going to grass-roots cricket and Cancer Resrearch UK. Free Entry all day. Bar & food available! 40-over match with music etc." Sounds like a great day out.

89.1

Sidebottom to Boucher, FOUR, shot! Excellent cricket from Boucher, slogging Sidebottom over midwicket for four

This could get very messy

89.2

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, a pointless bouncer down the leg side

89.3

Sidebottom to Boucher, no run, down the leg side but Boucher can't connect

89.4

Sidebottom to Boucher, FOUR, four more! A great stroke it was too, opening his stance and absolutely lacing it through extra cover. Quality lower-order batting

Square-leg's back for the bouncer but everyone else is close in

89.5

Sidebottom to Boucher, FOUR, swinging into his pads and Boucher just flicks this through midwicket for four more. Superb timing

Boucher desperate for a single off the last ball...

89.6

Sidebottom to Boucher, 1 run, hooked straight down Panesar's throw at fine-leg who drops it! Oh dear. A fine bouncer to which Monty didn't need to move, and, well, he never really looked like catching it. Oh, and they took the single too...

End of over 90 (13 runs) South Africa 312/9
MV Boucher    38* (47b 5x4)      RJ Sidebottom    25-9-81-3
M Ntini    0* (2b)      JM Anderson    26-6-70-2

Monty's been sent from fine leg to fine leg, Andrew notes

90.1

Anderson to Boucher, 2 runs, Boucher lines up a huge shot but inside-edges it down to fine-leg. Panesar is too slow to prevent two

90.2

Anderson to Boucher, OUT, what a catch by Vaughan! Boucher went inside out and Vaughan, sprinting in from extra cover, dived to take a quite brilliant (and surprising) catch. Pleasingly, both his knees appear to be still intact too

MV Boucher c Vaughan b Anderson 40 (90m 49b 5x4 0x6) SR: 81.63

12.30pm "Definitely clearing up to the south west, which is where the weather has been coming from," Andrew says. And lunch is about to be taken. So, on that note, chow down and join our fat selves in about 40 minutes.

12.25pm It's really moist out there and there are lots of covers now on. It's not looking great. "By the way, Flintoff has now taken 11 four-fors in Test cricket, and only two five-fors," Miller scribes. "I can still see glimpses of blue sky," he adds, apropos of nothing.

More covers coming on now. "I'm at work in Solihull (about 5 miles south of Birmingham)," emails Rob Murphy, "and there are some VERY dark clouds heading you way.....run for the hills!" I think it's run to the hills, Rob... or it is if you're a Maiden fan.

"Covers coming on," Andrew Andrews. "Very blustery out there, but no rain yet. Not much, anyway. Here it comes." It's just a passing shower though, we think

Overs 1-50  | Overs 51-100
Series Results
England v South Africa at The Oval - Aug 7-11, 2008
England won by 6 wickets
England v South Africa at Birmingham - Jul 30-Aug 2, 2008
South Africa won by 5 wickets
England v South Africa at Leeds - Jul 18-21, 2008
South Africa won by 10 wickets
England v South Africa at Lord's - Jul 10-14, 2008
Match drawn
More results »

Photos

Aug 2, 2008

Mark Boucher was not out on 45 leading South Africa to their first series victory in England since 1965, England v South Africa, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, August 2, 2008

Mark Boucher was not out on 45

© Getty Images

Aug 2, 2008

Graeme Smith is mobbed by his team-mates after leading South Africa to their first series victory in England since 1965, England v South Africa, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, August 2, 2008

Graeme Smith is mobbed by his team-mates after leading South Africa to their first series victory in England since 1965

© Getty Images

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