Petersen sets the bar for SA
Alviro Petersen’s magnificent century helped South Africa to 419 all out before England responded with 48 without loss before bad light and rain forced an early close on the second day of the second test at Headingley in Leeds on Friday.
Opening batsman Petersen took his score to 182 off 365 balls with 23 fours before the Proteas were bowled out on the stroke of tea with Stuart Broad the most successful bowler with 3-96.
England’s openers Alastair Cook (20 not out) and Andrew Strauss (19 not out) then took their team to stumps as they successfully negotiated a South Africa pace attack which did not perform at their best as they failed to settle on a good enough length to trouble the batsmen.
England ended the day 371 runs behind the tourists with 22 overs going unbowled in the day because of the bad light and the rain that began falling 20 minutes after the players had first left the field.
However, the day belonged to Petersen who recorded his highest test score, beating his previous best of 156 against New Zealand in Wellington earlier this year.
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Petersen eventually batted for eight hours and 53 minutes after beginning the day on 124 although it will be a concern to South Africa’s team management that Petersen picked up a hamstring problem during his innings and did not take to the field during England’s innings.
He did enjoy a slice of luck in the day as, before he had added to his overnight score, he was given out leg-before but he asked for a review which showed that the ball from swing bowler James Anderson would have missed leg stump so the on-field decision was overturned.
The 31-year-old Petersen was particularly strong on the leg side and he brought up his 150 off 330 deliveries as he and Jacques Rudolph (19) took the score to 318 before Rudolph, who had been incredibly patient during his 74-ball innings, lost his wicket to the unlikely figure of part-time off-spinner Kevin Pietersen.
Pietersen, with just his second delivery, served up a wonderful ball that turned sharply away from Rudolph with the batsman just dragging his back foot out of his crease allowing keeper Matt Prior to pull off a sharp stumping although it took a slow-motion replay to the television umpire to decide on the very tight decision.
Petersen was the next man to depart when he was caught behind off a delivery from Broad which just left the right-handed Petersen off the pitch.
Petersen was initially given not out but England asked for a review which clearly showed an outside edge from Petersen’s defensive prod.
Vernon Philander joined JP Duminy at the crease and he struck a few lusty blows in making his way to 13 with three fours before he hoisted a delivery from fast bowler Steven Finn to Tim Bresnan at deep square leg.
Morne Morkel (19) and Duminy then continued to frustrate the bowlers with a ninth-wicket partnership which produced 39 runs in good time before Morkel mistimed a lofted drive off the bowling of Broad and was caught at mid-off by Cook.
Duminy had looked very composed as he scored 48 not out off 94 balls with six fours but he missed out on a well-deserved fifty when Imran Tahir (0) was the last man out when he steered a delivery from Anderson straight to Cook at second slip.
England’s bowlers toiled through 139.2 overs with Anderson ending with figures of 2-61.
Report Day 1
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.