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Friday, January 15, 2010

South Africa again start well: T4D1

South Africa 0/29 (12ov) trail England 180 (47.5 ov, D Steyn 5/51) by 151 runs on first innings: T4 D1 at Johannesburg.

Andrew Strauss won the toss, chose to bat and was dismissed first ball, well caught at short leg off Dale Steyn. It didn't get much better for them after that as Morne Morkel reduced them to 4/39 (including another Kevin Pietersen failure) before Paul Collingwood and Ian Bell provided some respite by adding 76 before Steyn worked through the lower order.

180 was a disappointing total. It was England's decision to bat, though, and despite favourable conditions for bowlers few excuses can be made for a performance as modest as this. Steyn 5/51 from 13.5 ov and Morkel 3/39 from 11 did what their team required of them.

South Africa survived a dozen overs before the weather curtailed proceedings for the day. They will be looking for a big first innings lead. England will hope that their reconstituted attack, with Ryan Sidebottom replacing Graham Onions will be able to take a few leaves out of the Steyn - Morkel book. But after the recent Sydney Test it's too early to call.


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