Determined Duminy keeps SA in contest
JP Duminy struck a resilient half century to help South Africa recover from a woeful start to reach stumps at 263 for seven on day one of the final test against England at Lord’s in London on Thursday.
The left-hander was eventually out for 61 off 158 deliveries after the Proteas had slipped to 54 for four early on in a match they must avoid defeat to clinch the series and the world number one ranking.
Steven Finn was the chief destroyer for the hosts with his three wickets early on, before ending as the second best bowler with three for 68.
He was only topped by a superb James Anderson’s three for 58, but the English are unlikely to be entirely satisfied after allowing the South Africans to escape a wretched start.
Duminy’s main support cast came from Jacques Rudolph (42 off 103 balls) and the unexpected exploits of Vernon Philander, who surpassed his previous best 29 with an unbeaten 46 off 64 balls.
"England are more on top than we are, but the fighting spirit we showed, we are happy with," Duminy said. "We'd like to get to 300 -- anything above that is a bonus."
Meanwhile Finn said: "We made use of the conditions and bowled beautifully in the morning session. We are a little bit ahead of the game with them seven down."
England, needing to win the match to remain on top of the world, began the day with their best session of the series so far.
Graeme Smith, who was leading a team for the record 94th time in tests to surpass Alan Border’s record of 93, won the toss and chose to bat first, but was first to go for 14 in just the ninth over.
His opposite number Andrew Strauss, playing in his 100th test, reviewed a not out call by umpire Kumar Dharmasena when the bat grazed the ground and took a fine edge off Anderson on its way to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.
This video is not available in your region
It proved the right call and, after a period of some stability, Alviro Petersen (22) tried to fend a rising Finn delivery into the leg side, but ended up edging to Prior down the leg side.
Four balls later Hashim Amla (13) let one get through the gate with South Africa on 50 for three.
Finn had his third wicket moments before lunch, although it was a controversial one that infuriated the South African camp.
Jacques Kallis (three), attempting to flick another leg-side ball, saw the ball taken by Prior with umpire Dharmasena giving it not out.
England appealed, though, and after close to five minutes of analysis by television official Rod Tucker, the decision was reversed.
Replays suggested that the ball did graze the glove, but Kallis had his hand off the bat at the time and should have stayed in.
It was 65 for four at lunch and England let the visitors off the hook somewhat after the break when some loose bowling from Finn AB de Villiers in particular to score freely.
There was another big call for umpire Dharmasena in the 35th over when Anderson thought he trapped De Villiers leg before wicket.
The Sri Lankan official gave it not out and England reviewed immediately, but with the ball striking the batsman’s pad in the area which belongs to the on-field umpire, De Villiers survived – the home side using up their final television replay usage in the process.
Rudolph lifted Graeme Swann over mid-on for four in the next over to raise the 50 stand from 92 balls, before Anderson had his revenge on De Villiers when he sent him on his way for 27.
They took tea on 151 for five, and having added just one to his score after the interval, Rudolph was bowled by Swann trying to work an off-stump delivery into the leg side shortly after putting on 58 for the sixth wicket.
South Africa reached 200 in the 70th over and were seemingly coasting as Duminy went to his fifth career half century in 124 balls.
He played a needless shot when the new ball was taken ending a 72 run stand with Philander, who then took South African to the close along with Dale Steyn (21 off 32).
ENGLAND – Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, James Taylor, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior (wk), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, 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.