Alastair Cook made a patient half-century as England recovered from a poor start on the second day of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands yesterday.
Cook made 65 not out as England reached 133 for four at tea in reply to South Africa’s 291 all out.
Seven wickets fell during a dramatic morning’s play, with South Africa losing their last four wickets for 12 runs in 17 balls at the start of the day and England slumping to 64 for three at lunch.
Another wicket fell soon after the interval when Paul Collingwood was leg before wicket to Morne Morkel for 19.
But Cook and Ian Bell (24 not out) ground out an unbeaten 60-run partnership as the bowling lost its sting and the shine went off the ball.
Cook followed up his century when England won the second Test in Durban by an innings and 98 runs with another careful innings, leaving many deliveries and waiting for the right ball to hit. He took 112 balls to post his 50, hitting five fours.
England fast bowler James Anderson took three wickets for one run at the start of play as South Africa’s remaining batsmen succumbed rapidly. Anderson finished with five for 63, his eighth five-wicket haul in Tests, but the key breakthrough came from fellow paceman Graham Onions, who dismissed South African centurion Jacques Kallis with the second ball of the day.
Mohammad Ashraful hit an impressive half-century to help Bangladesh post 260-7 against Sri Lanka in the opening match of a triangular one-day series yesterday.
Bangladesh were struggling at 74-4 after being put in to bat in the day-night match when Ashraful (75) added 58 for the fifth wicket with Mushfiqur Rahim (35) and 95 for the next with Mohammad Mahmudullah (45).
Ashraful reached his 20th half-century in one-day internationals with an aggressive shot, pulling paceman Suranga Lakmal for a four. He hit six boundaries in his 94-ball knock before being run out in the penultimate over.
Bangladesh scored 92 in the last 10 overs, with Naeem Islam (22 not out) smashing 20 in the closing over bowled by Lakmal.
India are the other team in the tournament. Each side will play four league matches before the top two qualify for the final on Jan. 13.