Sunday 5 August 2012 

England Falter Before Rain Curtails Fourth Day

England Falter Before Rain Curtails Fourth Day
England Falter Before Rain Curtails Fourth Day
© Action Images / Ed Sykes Livepic
 

South Africa 419 (Petersen 182) & 39-0 v
England 425 (Pietersen 149, Prior 68)
Second Test, Headingley, day four
Scorecard | Day One | Day Two | Day Three

England's hopes of claiming victory in the second Test against South Africa at Headingley were dealt a double blow after day four was ended prematurely due to rain.

Prior to the arrival of a heavy series of rain showers that has swept across the country over the weekend, England had managed to secure a first-innings lead of just six runs.

England would have hoped to gain a useful lead and then try to bowl South Africa out cheaply, but with Kevin Pietersen dismissed without adding to his overnight score of 149, they instead faced a battle to gain a lead at all.

Much of the work of Pietersen, James Taylor and Matthew Prior on day three threatened to be undone as they went from 351 for five to 425 all out - South Africa having scored 419.

Pietersen fell to the second ball of the day when he was trapped in front by Morne Morkel, leaving Prior to get as many runs as he could with the lower order.

The Sussex wicket-keeper responded to the challenge brilliantly, hitting eight fours in his knock of 68 in 89 deliveries before he was the penultimate man out, caught by Dale Steyn off Imran Tahir.

Stuart Broad (1) and James Anderson (8) provided limited resistance although Tim Bresnan (9 in 50 balls) hung around, enabling Prior to put on 45 for the seventh wicket and take England towards their slender lead.

With Alviro Petersen struggling with a hamstring strain, Jacques Rudolph - himself no stranger to the role - opened the innings with Graeme Smith and South Africa quickly restored their lead.

Rudolph was unbeaten on 21 and Smith had 17 when the rain arrived and as small lakes began to render the groundstaff's efforts in pumping water off the ground futile, play was called off - much more to the frustration of the England team, who trail the three-match series 1-0.

Petersen suffered his injury during his innings of 182 which propped up South Africa's score and their leading bowler in terms of figures was Tahir, who returned three for 92.

Dale Steyn, Morkel and Vernon Philander, who bore the main brunt of Pietersen's savage attack on day three, all took two wickets and Jacques Kallis one.

© Cricket World 2012

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