Thu, Jan 07, 2016 - Page 20 News List

England head for draw in second Test

HIT FOR SIX:After just 13 wickets falling over the first four days of the Test, England lost six in quick succession as the hosts threatened to sneak a victory on the last day


England’s James Taylor, left, plays a shot as South Africa’s Quinton de Kock, right, and Chris Morris look on during the fifth day of the second Test in Cape Town, South Africa, yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

England were given a scare when they lost six wickets before tea on the fifth and final day of the second Test against South Africa at Newlands yesterday.

The teams came off the field for bad light shortly after the break as a draw become the likely outcome.

England were 159-6 at tea, a lead of 161, with a potential 31 overs remaining in the match.

The flurry of wickets was in complete contrast to the first four days, when both teams scored more than 600 runs in their first innings and 1,272 runs were scored for the loss of only 13 wickets.

The fast bowlers, led by Morne Morkel, gained some movement, while off-spinner Dane Piedt obtained some turn from a pitch that had previously offered no assistance to the bowlers.

Piedt was the most successful bowler, taking 3-38.

Alastair Cook and Alex Hales fell within the first three overs of the day, both without adding to their overnight scores of 8 and 5 respectively, while Joe Root was bowled just before the mid-morning drinks break. Nick Compton fell shortly before lunch.

Cook was caught down the leg side by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock off Kagiso Rabada and Hales fell to an outstanding catch by Chris Morris at third slip, diving low to his right, off Morne Morkel.

Root made 29 off 29 balls before he was bowled by Morris’ first ball of the innings, a full delivery that swung late to take out his off-stump.

Compton dug in and played a solid defensive innings in making 15 off 60 balls. It came as a surprise when he went on the drive against a full delivery from off-spinner Dane Piedt and hit a catch to Faf du Plessis at a short mid-on position.

England seemed to be heading to safety after lunch as Taylor and Stokes added 30 for the fifth wicket. However, Stokes went for a big hit against Piedt and was caught by Morkel on the midwicket boundary for 26.

Taylor followed in Piedt’s next over, gloving a catch to Temba Bavuma at short-leg after making 27. At 116-6, less than midway through the day, England were in trouble.

Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali calmed English nerves by batting through to tea and with the players leaving the field for bad light shortly after, a draw looked like the only possible outcome.

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