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Saturday, December 19, 2009

England batting flounders and Swann revives

South Africa 418 & 1/9 (4 ov) lead England 356 (104 ov, G Swann 85, P Collingwood 50, P Harris 5/123) by 71 runs with 9 second inns wickets in hand: T1 D3 at Centurion.

Thanks to Graeme Swann England are still in this match. On D3 a106 run 9th wicket partnership between him and James Anderson restored a degree of respectability to their team which, despite its selection of an extra batter (Ian Bell) in preference to a fifth bowler, had struggled to build a big first innings total. Swann biffed 85/81b (2x6, 10 x4), his highest Test score:

England's first innings deficit , though smaller than seemed likely at one point, has increased the chance of a South African victory instead of the draw I predicted yesterday. It may even be worth watching D4's play live.

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