Monday 6 August 2012 

Draw At Headingley After Thrilling Final Day

Draw At Headingley After Thrilling Final Day
Draw At Headingley After Thrilling Final Day
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

South Africa 419 & 258-9 dec. (Rudolph 69) drew with
England 425 (Pietersen 149) & 130-4
Second Test, Headingley
Scorecard | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

England and South Africa drew the second Test in Headingley after an enthralling final day in which both sides pushed hard for the win but were ultimately foiled.

South Africa resumed the day on 39 without loss, advanced to 258 for nine before declaring, setting England a target of 253 in 39 overs. England then closed the day on 130 for four having given the target serious thought before realising that discretion was the better part of valour on this occasion.

England charged in during the first session, Stuart Broad in particular causing Graeme Smith problems, although a couple of edges bounced frustratingly short of fielders, allowing the Proteas opening pair to put on 120 for the first wicket.

Both Jacques Rudolph (69) and Smith (52) drove well when given the opportunity and Rudolph survived a testing spell from James Anderson shortly before a 40-minute rain break added to England's frustration.

Rudolph was first to his half-century, which came off 92 balls and included his 16,000th first-class run but after another 15 minutes were lost to rain, Smith was dropped by Anderson at stlip - a hard chance, but a chance nevertheless - off Tim Bresnan.

Andrew Strauss turned to Kevin Pietersen with South Africa looking unlikely to lose a wicket and he struck quickly to have Rudolph dismissed for the second time in the game, trapped in front as he lunged forward to a straightening delivery.

Pietersen moved into attacking mode - with close fielders around the bat, he was bowling like he bats but there was time enough before a delayed lunch for Smith to reach his 33rd Test half-century.

After an unsuccessful review for a caught behind, Pietersen got his man when he was caught via the inside edge and his boot by James Taylor at short leg. Smith's review could not reprieve him and they had lost two wickets for nine runs.

With Jacques Kallis struggling with back spasms and Alviro Petersen having been off the field throughout England's innngs, AB de Villiers moved up to number four and looked in wonderful touch, stroking five fours in a fluent 44 in 45 balls. His strength through the off side with orthodox shots was mixed with flair and unorthodoxy.

He should have been caught by Anderson, who let the ball through him at slip as de Villiers pushed at Pietersen, who put that disappointment behind him to dismiss Hashim Amla for 28, who drilled a full toss to Alastair Cook. Having seen off the best England had to offer at The Oval in making a triple-century, he was out to one of the worst balls of the day.

Anderson's drop of de Villiers did not prove too costly when Broad had him trapped in front and one ball later JP Duminy was on his way without scoring, also trapped in front by a full length delivery from Broad. There was to be no hat-trick for Broad - the delivery defended by Vernon Philander - but the flurry of wickets had got England back in the game.

Watching impassively at the other end was Kallis, who despite his injury, looked in good order, and he watched on again as Philander (6) was also trapped in front by Broad, whose burst of four for 12 threatened to blow the game wide open. Petersen hobbled out to join Kallis and just seven more runs were added when a hostile delivery from Broad saw the vastly experienced all-rounder unable to do anything but glove to Matthew Prior having made 27.

With Petersen hardly able to run - and without being allowed recourse to a runner - South Africa limped figuratively and literally to tea on 239 for seven.

Anderson made some amends for his drops earlier in the day by taking a pearler to remove Dale Steyn off his own bowling, diving to his left and grabbing left-handed at a firm drive and when Morne Morkel was caught by Cook off Broad for 10, England were given the task of scoring at around one run per ball to claim an unlikely win.

The excellent Broad returned figures of five for 69, Pietersen three for 52 and Anderson one for 40.

So, with England having little time to hang around, they could turn to nobody else to open the innings alongside Cook and Pietersen struck 12 from the first over but after Cook cut powerfully for two boundaries, Pietersen went no further when he was caught at mid on by Imran Tahir off Philander.

Andrew Strauss got his innings going by pulling Philander for four and then joining Pietersen in reaching his 7,000th Test run in this Test and despite the latter's dismissal, England's momentum continued unchecked.

Strauss (22) fell in tame circumstances when he lobbed a full toss straight back to Duminy - whose early success mirrored that of fellow off-spinner Pietersen earlier in the day.

When presented with a similarly poor ball, Cook deposited Duminy into the stand for a maximum but was soon caught by Rudolph at extra cover as he tried to flick to leg. He had made an eye-catching 46 in 62 balls and England then sent out some mixed messages by sending out Prior to join Jonathan Trott at the crease.

Both men struck early boundaries although Prior's run for seven pretty much ended the run chase and there was still the possibility that South Africa might yet turn the tables.

As it was, Warwickshire pair Trott (30 not out) and Bell (3 not out) shut up shop and resisted until the players decided enough was enough and shook hands on the draw.

South Africa won the opening match at The Oval by an innings and 12 runs and the final Test begins at Lord's on 16th August.

© Cricket World 2012

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