South Africa Forge Ahead On Weather-Interrupted Day

South Africa Forge Ahead On Weather-Interrupted Day
South Africa Forge Ahead On Weather-Interrupted Day
©REUTERS/Philip Brown (SOUTH AFRICA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET ENVIRONMENT) Picture Supplied by Action Images

England 180 (Collingwood 47, Steyn 5-51, Morkel 3-39) v
South Africa 215-2 (Smith 105, Amla 73no)

Fourth Test, Johannesburg, day two

A Graeme Smith century and an unbeaten half-century from Hashim Amla steered South Africa ahead of England on day two of the fourth and final Test in Johannesburg before a thunderstorm interrupted play.

After a long break, the players returned after tea but play was then called off after 25 minutes due to bad light with South Africa on 215 for two, 25 runs ahead of England.

In an extended morning session, England, bowled out for 180 on day one, could only take the wicket of Ashwell Prince for 19 before South Africa reached lunch on 160 for one.

South Africa wasted little time in getting ahead, Smith reaching his 20th Test century before edging Ryan Sidebottom to Andrew Strauss at slip for 105, leaving Amla unbeaten on 71 and Jacques Kallis on two when a thunderstorm left the ground sodden and prospects of much further play in the day unlikely although an impressive clean-up operation did allow play to get back underway, South Africa adding seven runs after tea.

Before lunch, England did strike swiftly to get rid of Prince, Graeme Swann taking the catch off the bowling of James Anderson but Smith and Amla would go on to add 165 for the second wicket, playing much as they did in Cape Town, when Smith scored 183 and Amla 95 to put South Africa in a dominant position.

England thought they had the wicket of Smith when a strong appeal for a catch behind off Sidebottom was turned down, first by the on-field umpire and then on review by Daryl Harper.

Smith made the most of his good fortune as it appeared that although some stumps microphones were turned on and did detect a sound as ball passed bat, this feed did not reach Harper so he could not alter the original decision.

Reports later suggested that Harper had not turned his volume up but either way, England team director Andy Flower confirmed that his side would be making an official complaint over the issue.

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