Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook survived some hostile bowling from South Africa’s bowlers on the fourth day of the third Test yesterday as England set out on a quest to preserve their series lead.
Set 466 to win — or to bat out a potential 146 overs — England were 38 for no wicket at tea.
Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn both bowled well at the start of the final innings but Strauss and Cook batted resolutely.
Steyn induced an edge from Strauss in the second over but it fell short of Graeme Smith at first slip. Six overs later he had two close leg before wicket appeals turned down by umpire Tony Hill and South Africa decided not to seek reviews. Strauss responded in Steyn’s next over with three boundaries off successive balls.
South Africa added 135 runs for the loss of five wickets in 31.2 overs yesterday before Smith declared.
Smith took his overnight score of 162 to 183 as he and Kallis batted comfortably against the second new ball, which was taken at the start of play.
Smith showed attacking intent as he added 21 runs off 29 balls but was caught on the fine leg boundary when he top-edged a hook against Graham Onions.
Having successfully asked for a review of a leg before wicket decision when he was on 51, Smith might have survived again had Hill spotted that Onions over-stepped the crease — or Smith asked for another review.
Kallis made 46 before he edged an attempted square cut against James Anderson and was caught behind.
England went on the defensive in the second hour, slowing down their over rate and setting run-saving fields. Only 10 overs were bowled after the mid-morning drinks.
South Africa went for their shots after lunch when 50 runs were added in 7.2 overs, with all three batsmen who were dismissed falling in a chase for quick runs, including JP Duminy, who made a breezy 36 off 41 balls
Anderson took three for 98 and Graeme Swann three for 127.
■AUSTRALIA V PAKISTAN
Australia completed a remarkable comeback to beat Pakistan by 36 runs in the second Test in Sydney yesterday.
The Aussies, who started the day with a lead of 80 but with only two wickets in hand, extended their advantage to 176 thanks to a ninth wicket stand of 123 between Michael Hussey and Peter Siddle. Hussey finished unbeaten on 134 while tailender Siddle made 38.
Nathan Hauritz then spun the hosts to victory, taking 5 for 53, with Doug Bollinger (2 for 32) and Mitchell Johnson (3 for 27) lending crucial support. Umar Akmal top-scored for Pakistan with 49. The Aussies now have an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.