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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Captain powers South Africa to dominant position: T3 D3

South Africa 291 & 2/312 (80ov, G Smith 162*, H Amla 95) lead England 273 (88 ov, M Prior 76, A Cook 65, M Morkel 5/75, D Steyn 4/74) by 330 runs with 8 2nd inns wkts in hand: T3 D3 at Cape Town

Graeme Smith led a sharp improvement in South Africa's fortunes after a refreshed Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn took the last 3 England wickets for 32, leaving the match open to be won (or drawn) with the best part of three days remaining.

Smith showed what he was thinking as he and Hashim Amla took charge. This time it was the England attack which found the conditions, not least the heat, hard going. Smith was given out lbw, challenged the decision successfully, and continued to a 172b century. Amla, who needed a score to offset a run of failures since his T1 century, followed hard on his captain's heels before, having silenced the doubters, being caught at short leg for 95/156b (14x4) .

Smith and Jacques Kallis continued comfortably to stumps adding 51. With a lead of 330, 7 wickets in hand and Smith unbeaten on 162/243b (22x4) South Africa hold all the high cards.


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