South Africa on top in final Test
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:New Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
Scorecard:South Africa v England
Player:AB de Villiers, MV Boucher
Event:England in South Africa 2009/10

DateLine: 16th January 2010


South Africa continued to their surge towards levelling the series as they had England on the ropes at the end of third day's play. England at the close of day's play were at 48 for 3 trailing by 195 runs. With a maximum of six sessions left a third escape in four games would be incredible.


South Africa began their day at 215 for 2 and with conditions aiding swing the English bowlers made the early inroads. First to go was Amla (75, 138 balls, 8x4) who added just two runs to his overnight score when Broad got the elegant right-hander to edge behind to Prior who took an excellent catch. Six balls later Anderson displayed excellent reflexes as he clung onto an outside edge off Kallis bat at gully when the all-rounder slashed at an outswinger from Sidebottom to gully. Duminy (7, 20 balls, 1x4) continued to fail as Swann got one to turn and bounce which the southpaw edged to Collingwood at slips. South Africa's lead at that stage was a slender 55, but through the efforts of de Villiers (58, 119 balls, 5x4) and Boucher (95, 118 balls, 9x4) they pushed their lead past the 200-mark. De Villiers seemed to be struck with a hamstring problem but batted with typical confidence and also had huge slices of fortune.


The pair of Boucher and de Villiers added 120 runs in 29.3 overs before Broad separated the pair. Boucher found a perfect ally in debutant McLaren (33, 56 balls, 5x4) and the pair added 64 in 14.3 overs before Boucher was caught in the deep. Smith declared the South African innings with 243 runs in the lead.


England in reply found themselves in a hole when the top order was blown away by Steyn-Morkel pair. Morkel got Cook (1, 6 balls) to edge to Smith at slip and then next to go was Trott (8, 9 balls, 2x4) who was snapped up at gully of a fiery Steyn. Strauss (22, 45 balls, 3x4) defied the South African bowlers for sometime before Parnell trapped him leg before to get his first Test wicket to leave England tottering at 48 for 3 in 12.3 overs with an out of form Pietersen (9, 20 balls, 2x4) and Collingwood (0, 3 balls)at the crease.


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