Second test ends in stalemate
England and South Africa, despite the best efforts of the opposing captains, played to a draw on the fifth day of the second test at Headingley in Leeds on Monday.
South Africa skipper Graeme Smith declared his team’s second innings closed on 258 for nine shortly after tea to set England a tempting target of 253 runs off 39 overs.
The hosts made a few positive moves to chase down the target, opening the batting with Kevin Pietersen, but after losing four wickets England shut up shop to reach 130 for four in their second innings before Smith and his opposite number Andrew Strauss called the contest off with six overs left in the day.
The Proteas thus take a 1-0 series lead into the last test of the series which starts at Lord’s in London on August 16.
South Africa’s second innings total was built around a century opening partnership between Smith and Jacques Rudolph with both men scoring fifties while paceman Stuart Broad shone with the ball for England as he claimed 5-69 off 16.4 overs.
England’s second dig total was built around a dashing 46 from opening batsman Alastair Cook while Dale Steyn was the stand-out bowler for the tourists claiming 1-26.
Rudolph compiled a well-constructed 69 off 122 balls with 12 fours before being dismissed in the last over before the lunch break while Smith weighed in with 52 off 117 deliveries
The duo combined for an opening stand that produced 120 runs off 224 deliveries and Rudolph looked relatively untroubled as he brought up his 11th test half-century off 92 balls.
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However, the left-handed batsman was dismissed by the part-time off-spin of Kevin Pietersen for the second time in the match when he was trapped leg-before by a delivery that pitched on leg stump before straightening and beating Rudolph’s defensive stroke.
Smith reined in his usual attacking play and was prepared to pay second fiddle to Rudolph and he reached his 34th test fifty off the last ball before lunch.
But Smith did enjoy a stroke of luck when, with his score on 44, he was dropped at second slip by James Anderson with the fielder putting down a low chance to his right.
The match seemed to be heading for a tame draw at the lunch break but Broad served up a spell that produced figures of 4-0-16-4 shortly before tea to raise hopes of a positive result.
Pietersen had struck again, soon after lunch, when he had Smith caught at short leg. Smith asked for the decision to be reviewed but, despite inconclusive replays, the on-field decision was upheld.
Hashim Amla (28) and AB de Villiers then combined for an attractive 53-run third-wicket partnership before Amla slapped a Pietersen full toss to Cook at short extra cover with the fielder pulling off a sharp catch.
Broad then took centre stage as he claimed two wickets in two balls with De Villiers and JP Duminy (0) both out leg-before.
De Villiers had looked in fine touch as he sailed to 44 off 45 balls before he was dismissed playing around a delivery, although replays suggested that the ball might have travelled down leg side.
However, South Africa were out of reviews and Broad then accounted for Duminy with a full delivery that caught the left-handed batsman in his crease.
Broad seemed lifted by the double-strike and he removed Vernon Philander (6) leg-before with a delivery that nipped back at the right-handed batsman.
Jacques Kallis (19) was the next man to depart when he tried to sway out of the way of a Broad bouncer only for the ball to catch his glove on the way to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
Broad completed his five-four after tea when he had Morne Morkel (10) caught at midwicket to hasten Smith’s declaration with Pietersen ending with 3-52.
Pietersen made a fast start in England’s innings with 12 off eight ball before he was caught at mid-on off a Morkel delivery as South Africa sniffed victory.
Strauss (22), Cook and Prior (7) were then all dismissed to leave England on 106 for four in the 20th over.
But Jonathan Trott (30 not out) and Ian Bell (3 not out) combined for a stubborn fifth-wicket partnership of 24 off 13.2 overs to force the draw.
Report Day 1
Report Day 2
Report Day 3
Report Day 4
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.