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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Bowlers strike back at Cape Town: T3 D2

England 7/241 (82 ov, A Cook 65, M Prior 52*) trail South Africa 291 (86.1 ov, J Kallis 108, M Boucher 51, J Anderson 5/63) on first inns by 50 runs with 3 wkts in hand:: T3 D2 at Cape Town

The bowlers of both sides struck back taking 11 wickets in the day for 253, seven of them in the first session for 76 and four of those South African for only 12 runs. Graham Onions removed Jacques Kallis, who didn't add to his overnight 108/189 (11x4), then Jimmy Anderson took the last 3 to finish with 5/63 from 21.1 overs.

When England batted they stuttered in the face of some sharp bowling from the South African pace attack, losing 3/64 before lunch and a fourth, Paul Collingwood for 19, soon afterwards at 73. The in form Alistair Cook and Ian Bell effected a modest revival by adding 60 before Cook went for a solid 65/136b (7x4). Bell was out to a poor stroke off Kallis for a gritty 48/121b (8x4).

6/174 was far from dominant, yet the South African attack began to flag as Matt Prior 52*/96b (5x4), Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann moved the total to what is IMO a healthy 7/241, still behind South Africa but within touch.

With 3 days left South Africa - still leading on first innings, England to bat last - look slightly better placed but I wouldn't put money on them. While their faster bowlers are doing well Paul Harris, their specialist slow bowler (as Geoff Boycott on TV described him after hastily retracting "spinner") is looking ordinary and far from second innings five-for material.

The first couple of sessions on D3 will be interesting. Unfortunately for cricket lovers here Foxtel has opted not to show the first session, preferring to show repeats of an AFL grand final from wayback. Not good enough. The AFL could be shown at any time.


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