Wed, Jan 19, 2005 - Page 19 News List

Hoggard cuts through SA lineup

TOP PERFORMANCE The only consolation for South Africa in the fourth Test was that Hershelle Gibbs became the third SA player to reach 5,000 runs in Tests

AGENCIES , JOHANNESBURG, DHAKA AND BRISBANE

England's Matthew Hoggard, man of the match, holds the trophy after winning against South Africa on the last day of the fourth five-day Test in Johannesburg on Monday.

PHOTO: AFP

Matthew Hoggard produced the performance of his life as England snatched a 77-run win on the fifth and final afternoon of the fourth Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Monday.

Hoggard took the first six wickets and then dismissed last man Dale Steyn to finish with career-best figures of seven for 61 and win the plaudits of his captain, Michael Vaughan, and his vanquished South African opponents.

"It was a great effort," Vaughan said. "He has bowled well throughout the series. He keeps running in. To bowl South Africa out in two sessions was very special."

South African captain Graeme Smith said Hoggard had bowled "superbly," while South African coach Ray Jennings said the Yorkshire opening bowler had bowled well throughout the series.

"He puts a lot of passion and energy into his bowling and his first two spells today were crucial," he said.

Vaughan had set South Africa to make 325 off 68 overs and they needed all but 8.3 of them to achieve a victory which puts them 2-1 up in the series with one match to play. Only Herschelle Gibbs, who followed up his first innings 161 with a high-quality 98, resisted the Hoggard blitz of the top order.

But there was some late defiance. Smith, advised by a doctor not to bat after suffering concussion in a fielding accident before play on Sunday, batted at number eight and made 67 not out, with the last two batsmen, Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn, both surviving for more than half an hour to take the game down to the last few overs.

Hoggard had match figures of 12 for 205. It was the first time in his career he had taken 10 or more wickets in a match.

"We put a lot of pressure on the South African batsmen. I was able to put the ball in the right places today," he said.

Hoggard, 28, made the ball swing sharply away from the right-handed batsmen and his haul of wickets included the first-ball dismissal of star batsman Jacques Kallis, who was caught at first slip.

Long one of the workhorses in the England team, it was a rare moment in the spotlight for the blond Yorkshireman. But he said he was happy for players like Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison to grab the headlines.

Smith, who said he would definitely play in the final Test starting at Centurion on Friday despite his injury, criticised his team's batsmen.

"We had to bat out two sessions and we didn't do it very well. There was not enough hardness in the middle order. When you see how close we got at the end it is very disappointing. The middle order need to take a hard look at themselves. When the pressure is on is when we need characters to come through," he said.

Opening batsman Marcus Trescothick hit a magnificent 180 off 248 balls as England made 332 for nine declared in their second innings.

Trescothick's innings included 24 fours and eight sixes. With a declaration imminent, Trescothick thrashed his last 52 runs off 35 balls in a ninth wicket partnership of 58 with Harmison, who contributed just three to the stand.

Hoggard, who took five for 144 in the first innings, made his first breakthrough when he had stand-in opening batsman AB de Villiers leg before with the first ball of his third over. Then he took two wickets with successive balls at the start of his fifth over, bowling Jacques Rudolph with a delivery which swung into the left-hander and having Kallis caught at first slip.

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