South Africa completed a good morning’s work when Morne Morkel bowled England captain Andrew Strauss off the last ball before lunch on the second day of the third Test at Lord’s yesterday.
Strauss, playing his 100th Test and 50th as skipper, was clean-bowled between bat and pad on his Middlesex home ground by fast bowler Morkel, to leave England 29 for one in reply to South Africa’s first-innings 309.
Alastair Cook was six not out.
Earlier, Vernon Philander’s maiden Test fifty helped South Africa further frustrate England with the bat.
The tourists collapsed to 54 for four after winning the toss on Thursday’s first day, but by stumps had rallied to 262 for seven thanks to several useful efforts by their lower order.
Philander’s 61, the innings’ joint top score along with that of J.P. Duminy, then saw South Africa — 1-0 up in this three-match series and needing only to avoid defeat to replace England at the top of the world Test rankings — past the benchmark total of 300.
It was nowhere near the 637 for two declared they made in their innings victory in the first Test across London at The Oval, but far more than looked likely when Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn was running through their top order on Thursday.
Finn finished with figures of four for 75 from 18 overs.
South Africa resumed yesterday with No. 8 Philander 46 not out and Dale Steyn 21 not out.
However, Steyn added just five more runs to his overnight score before edging Stuart Broad to Graeme Swann at second slip.
Philander, though, completed a 75-ball fifty, including five fours, having already surpassed his previous Test best of 29 against New Zealand at Wellington in March.
Morkel, having made 25 and helped Philander add 37 for the ninth wicket, was out when he nicked a wide delivery from Finn and wicketkeeper Matt Prior, diving to his left, held a low, one-handed catch.
Duminy had said he and Philander were the “engine room” of the team if the top-order failed and both men made “tough” runs.
Philander’s more than three hours of resistance ended when he was last man out, stumped slogging at off-spinner Swann to give Prior his sixth dismissal of the innings.