Petersen ton guides SA
Alviro Petersen constructed an invaluable, unbeaten century to help South Africa to 262 for five at stumps on the first day of the second test against England at Headingley in Leeds on Thursday.
Opening batsman Petersen ended the day on 124 not out off 266 deliveries with 16 fours after England had won the toss and elected to bowl after omitting off-spinner Graeme Swann from their line-up in favour of a four-pronged pace attack.
Petersen’s innings was not without incident and he was dropped by Alastair Cook at second slip when he had scored 29 while he earned another reprieve when he was given out leg-before off a delivery from paceman Steven Finn (1-78) only for the decision to be overturned after a video review with replays showing that the ball would have gone over the stumps.
The 31-year-old Petersen reached his fifty off 78 deliveries but he was a lot more circumspect in scoring the next 50 runs as his fourth test century came up off 215 balls.
Petersen showed wonderful application on a pitch which started off relatively benign but offered up a lot more swing and movement later in the day as the cloud cover built up.
Graeme Smith and Petersen gave South Africa the perfect start to the day with a 120-run opening stand off 37.2 overs with Smith scoring his 33rd test fifty in making his way to 52 off 93 balls.
But Smith’s innings was not without incident as he was caught in the slip cordon off the bowling of Finn when he had scored just six only for the umpire to call a dead ball after Finn had broken the stumps at the non-striker’s end with his knee during his delivery stride.
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Finn had trouble with breaking the stumps during the early part of the day and he had done it three times before Smith and Petersen complained to the umpires that it was disturbing their concentration.
Finn was told by the umpires that if it happened again a dead ball would be called with that warning eventually resulting in Smith’s reprieve.
Smith finally departed when he flicked a leg-side full toss from seamer Tim Bresnan (1-68) straight to Ian Bell at backward short leg.
Smith’s departure heralded the start of a mini-collapse for the tourists who proceeded to lose three wickets for 37 runs to slide from 120 without loss to 157 for three.
Hashim Amla (9) was run out after a terrible mix-up with Petersen after both men hesitated before setting off for a third run and Amla was unable to beat Bresnan’s accurate throw from deep extra cover to keeper Matt Prior.
Jacques Kallis played a few entertaining shots in scoring 19 with four fours but he lost his wicket when he attempted to cut a short ball from swing bowler James Anderson (1-42) only for an edge to fly to Cook at second slip with the fielder taking a very sharp catch inches off the ground.
A rain delay saw 70 minutes play lost either side of the tea break but when play resumed AB de Villiers and Petersen set about rebuilding the innings with a 97-run fourth-wicket stand.
De Villiers made his way to 47 but he was undone by the second new ball when he tried to pull out of a defensive stroke to a Stuart Broad (1-55) delivery only to inside edge the delivery back on to his stumps.
Nightwatchman Dale Steyn (0) did not last long before he was bowled neck and crop by Finn before Jacques Rudolph (1 not out) helped Petersen steer the Proteas to the close of play.
ENGLAND – Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, James Anderson, Steven Finn.
SOUTH AFRICA – Graeme Smith (capt), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers (wk), Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.