England Cling On To Draw With One Wicket Left Again
South Africa 291 & 447-7 dec. (Smith 183, Amla 95) v
England 273 (Cook 65) & 296-9 (Bell 78, Cook 55)
Third Test, Cape Town
For the second time in three matches, England ended a game with one wicket remaining as they held on to draw the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell dug in to score 78 and 40 respectively but their dismissals heralded a collapse similar to that at Centurion and the comparisons continued as Graham Onions saw off the final over bowled by Morne Morkel to ensure that England take a 1-0 lead into the final game at Johannesburg.
England lost the wickets of nightwatchman James Anderson and number three batsman Jonathan Trott before lunch but Collingwood and Bell steered England to 230 for five at lunch, adding 51 runs in the session, although runs by then had become irrelevant.
Anderson stuck around for 52 balls in making nine runs before he swept Paul Harris onto his boot and into the hands of Ashwell Prince, who took a superb diving catch.
Trott made 42 in 99 balls but could do little about his dismissal, Dale Steyn getting one to nip back and rip out his off-stump.
That left Collingwood and Bell exposed to the new ball but despite an outstanding spell from Steyn, the pair showed plenty of resilience and no little skill in keeping their wickets intact, the pair putting on 112 for the sixth wicket in 57 overs, Collingwood making 40 in 188 balls and Bell 78 in 213 - it might not have been the century that many were craving, but it was as important an innings he will ever play in an England shirt.
However, there was a final twist as the off-spin off JP Duminy finally broke the partnership when Collingwood was caught at slip by Jacques Kallis and he then had Matthew Prior (4) caught by AB de Villiers.
Stuart Broad faced 21 balls without scoring but from the 22nd he was caught by de Villiers off Harris and three balls later, Bell steered Morkel to Graeme Smith at slip to leave Graeme Swann and Onions to face the music.
But despite the best efforts of Steyn and Morkel, Swann and Onions did enough to keep England's series lead intact.
© Cricket World 2010