1st Test, Centurion, Dec 16 - 20 2009, England tour of South Africa
418 & 301/7d
(target 364)356 & 228/9
Match drawn
Player Of The Match
5/110 & 85
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• The Bulletin by Andrew Miller

England escape in grandstand finale

Kevin Pietersen injected England's innings with some much-needed confidence following the early dismissal of both overnight batsmen

Match centre 
Scorecard summary
South Africa418/10(153.2 overs)1st INNINGS
Graeme Swann5/110(45.2)
England356/10(104 overs)1st INNINGS
South Africa301/7(85.5 overs)2nd INNINGS
Hashim Amla100 (213)
James Anderson4/73(20.5)
Stuart Broad2/58(16)
England228/9(96 overs)2nd INNINGS
end of over 96Maiden
ENG: 228/9CRR: 2.37 
Graham Onions1 (12)
Paul Collingwood26 (99)
Makhaya Ntini 18-7-41-0
Morne Morkel 18-3-46-2

Don't forget to read Andrew Miller's bulletin, which is being furiously hacked out as we speak, check out the gallery and discuss all the drama on our Facebook page. That's it from me, Sahil, and I hope you'll join us again on Boxing day for the second Test, until then, have a very merry Christmas.

Graeme Smith looks happy and confident, despite coming so close and, rather touchingly, wishes the country a 'safe Christmas'.

Strauss describes it as a 'crazy last hour' and Swann looks more relieved than thrilled as he collects his man-of-the-match award, saying "we're single handedly keeping Test cricket alive".

Makhaya Ntini is awarded, slightly bizarrely, with a personalised beer-fridge, to commemorate his 100th Test as he sounds positive looking ahead to the Boxing day Test.

Ian Bishop, heading the presentation ceremony declares we have witnessed "the best of Test match cricket today," and how right he is.

South Africa were superb, they recognised the slightest hint of an opportunity when Pietersen ran himself out, and burst through to open up the Test match.

Graeme Swann, who saved Strauss's blushes in South Africa's first innings, with five wickets before rescuing England from 242 for 8, with a sparkling 85, is awarded man of the match for his efforts.

Well, what sublime Test-match drama. At tea England were entertaining thoughts of a late run chase, with Pietersen and Trott going along well. Then a suicidal run out and some inspired new-ball bowling from Freidel de Wet on debut, blasted through England's middle order and tail. Collingwood, a man cut entirely from steel, stood firm throughout.

Ntini to Onions, no run

outside off stump on a good length and Onions gets solidly behind it to save the game for his side! Match drawn. Onions punches the air and looks to the England dressing room! Collingwood goes over to congratulate his Durham team-mate, and the players exchange hand shakes. South Africa are obviously despondent as they make their way off the field.

Morkel moves in from mid off to a catching position on the off side

Ntini to Onions, no run

this time it's just outside off stump, Onions gets a solid defence on it

Ntini to Onions, no run

oh my goodness! Absolute grubber and dead straight. Onions jams a bat down, somehow, so close

Ntini to Onions, no run

shortish, would have gone over the stumps from that length, and Onions gets solidly behind it

Ntini to Onions, no run

oh so close! Fuller, and Onions plays at it and it whistles agonisingly close to the outside edge

Ntini to Onions, no run

starts slightly wide of off stump, Onions plays at it and it comes off the inside edge, safely

Well, after a spell of 7 overs 3 for 11, de Wet gives way to Ntini, in his 100th Test, for the final over.

end of over 956 runs
ENG: 228/9CRR: 2.40 
Paul Collingwood26 (99)
Graham Onions1 (6)
Morne Morkel 18-3-46-2
Friedel de Wet 23-8-55-4
Morkel to PD Collingwood, no run

short delivery, Collingwood rises with it and tries to drop it into the off side for one, but the fielders swarm in so Onions will have strike for the final over

Morkel to PD Collingwood, FOUR runs

Collingwood clips firmly into the leg side from a full delivery, he set off for one, but the ball ran away to the boundary

Morkel to Onions, 1 run

goes for the yorker, but it was a full toss and Onions pushes it out to mid on. The batsmen cross so Collingwood has two deliveries to find the single that will give him the strike

Morkel to Onions, no run

shortish and wide of off stump, Morkel just needs to get one up and hitting the stumps, Onions thinks about playing, absurdly, but reconsiders and leaves it alone at the last moment

Morkel to Onions, no run

too wide from Morkel, and Onions leaves it

Onions fiddles with his arm guard and looks nervous, as well he might

Morkel to Onions, no run

Onions leaps back to defend a good length delivery on off stump

Man comes up very close on the off side

Morkel to Onions, (no ball)

no ball again, Onions rises with a good-length ball and defends

end of over 944 runs
ENG: 222/9CRR: 2.36 
Paul Collingwood22 (97)
Graham Onions0 (1)
Friedel de Wet 23-8-55-4
Morne Morkel 17-3-40-2
de Wet to PD Collingwood, FOUR runs

angled in at the body, and Collingwood succeeds in pushing it into the leg side, but it runs away for four. Not many South African fielders chasing that!

Collingwood and Onions convene for a crisis meeting, how will they get this run?

de Wet to PD Collingwood, no run

Collingwood defends solidly into the off side, but no single is there

South Africa want to prevent the single, fine leg is up

de Wet to PD Collingwood, no run

solidly forward and defending, Boucher cheering on, and Smith taking his time

de Wet to PD Collingwood, no run

slightly wider of the crease, angling in, but wide enough for Collingwood to leave it alone. He fenced at one during the Cardiff epic to get out, and he doesn't want to here

de Wet to PD Collingwood, no run

This is wide of off and Collingwood, who looks calm, somehow, shoulders arms

When will Collingwood take the single?

de Wet to PD Collingwood, no run

shortish, defended into the leg side, surprisingly, the batsmen won't cross.

Collingwood will need all the strike if England are to survive, South Africa will be pleading for a go at Onions

end of over 93Wicket maiden
ENG: 218/9CRR: 2.34 
Graham Onions0 (1)
Paul Collingwood18 (91)
Morne Morkel 17-3-40-2
Friedel de Wet 22-8-51-4
Morkel to Onions, no run

goodness me, this is fired miles down the leg side and Onions happily lets it go

Here comes Graham Onions, and it's Cardiff, all over again. 19 balls remaining for England, that will seem like days.

Best performances - batters
Jacques Kallis
JH Kallis SA
120 runs (225)
16 fours
1 six
Productive shot
leg glance
34 runs
2 fours
0 six
Hashim Amla portrait
HM Amla SA
100 runs (213)
10 fours
0 six
Productive shot
leg glance
34 runs
2 fours
0 six
Best performances - bowlers
GP Swann ENG
Portrait of Paul Harris
PL Harris SA
Match details
SuperSport Park, Centurion
TossEngland, elected to field first
SeriesEngland tour of South Africa
Player Of The Match
Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann
Series result4-match series level 0-0
Match numberTest no. 1942
Hours of play (local time)10.30am start, Lunch 12.30-13.10, Tea 15.10-15.30, Close 17.30
Match days16,17,18,19,20 December 2009 - day (5-day match)
Test debut
Friedel de Wet
Friedel de Wet
Pakistan Image
Aleem Dar
Australia Image
Steve Davis
TV Umpire
India Image
Amiesh Saheba
Reserve Umpire
South Africa Image
Brian Jerling
Match Referee
Sri Lanka Image
Roshan Mahanama
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