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Cricket: Bad light forces England to draw

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posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 10:47 AM

Second Test, Durban, day five:
England 139 & 570-7d drew with South Africa 332 & 290-8

England lead five-match series 1-0

England First Innings 139 all out (57.1 overs)
England Second Innings 570 for 7 (172.3 overs)
South Africa First Innings 332 all out (102.0 overs)
South Africa Second Innings 290 for 8 (86.0 overs)

England were denied a ninth successive win by heroic South African resistance and bad light, as a remarkable second Test in Durban finished in a draw. The visitors looked set to win when reducing South Africa to 183-7, but AB de Villiers and Shaun Pollock stood firm with a crucial 85-run stand. De Villiers was 52 not out when the light was offered 15 overs ahead of time, with the hosts 87 in arrears. The result means England have now gone 13 Tests without tasting defeat.

Jacques Rudolph shared 69 runs for the fifth wicket with Martin van Jaarsveld in another important stand before he was the first of three to fall for 11 runs in the second session. South Africa resumed play on 21-1, and nightwatchman Nicky Boje made a confident start as Steve Harmison struggled to find a consistent line, pushing through mid-on for four. But once again Andrew Flintoff made an impact for England, dismissing the left-hander in his opening over. Flintoff got one to rear up at Boje, who could only fend off with the glove and Graham Thorpe, revelling in his role at short-leg, swooped to take his 100th Test catch. Rudolph made a hesitant start, almost undone by another brutal ball from Flintoff when unable to avoid getting a glove to more steepling bounce. He maintained an aggressive approach, however, advancing down the pitch to loft Ashley Giles for four, then smashing 14 in the next over from Harmison. Herschelle Gibbs was content to play a supporting role in a fifty stand from 100 balls in which Rudolph contributed 31, but gradually began to find his touch with one memorable cover drive for four off Giles.

Harmison made the breakthrough, tempting Gibbs into a cut that Giles held well to his left in the gully. The wicket of Jacques Kallis sealed a fine morning for the tourists. He survived an early lbw appeal from Harmison but then, having made 10, tried to force the big fast bowler off the back foot and got a thick edge, with Geraint Jones taking an outstanding catch to his right. Van Jaarsveld grew in confidence after clipping Harmison for four, and soon struck successive boundaries off Flintoff. Rudolph danced down the track to whip Giles for six, and reached fifty in style with a Caribbean-style back-foot drive for his sixth four. A fifty stand was recorded in 67 balls, but after driving Giles for two fours in an over, Rudolph was unluckily given out, caught at short-leg when replays showed the ball to clip arm guard not glove.

Simon Jones returned in the next over to trap the hapless Hashim Amla plumb lbw second ball for nought. And another bowling change proved effective when Hoggard came back to end Van Jaarsveld's attacking innings on 49, finding the edge with the first ball of his new spell, Marcus Trescothick taking a low catch as a solitary slip. That left England requiring three wickets in 43.5 overs. De Villiers hammered successive boundaries off Jones and raced to his maiden fifty. With 16.3 overs remaining, De Villiers called the beleagured Pollock for a single, leaving Simon Jones with one stump to aim it and that was all he needed. Makhaya Ntini showed no signs of blocking out, blasting four fours in 16 from six balls. The umpires then offered the light, and though England were frustrated they end 2004 as the only unbeaten Test team.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Rudolph, Jacques Kallis, Martin van Jaarsveld, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers, Shaun Pollock, Nicky Boje, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn.

England: Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss, Mark Butcher, Michael Vaughan (captain), Graham Thorpe, Andrew Flintoff, Geraint Jones, Ashley Giles, Matthew Hoggard, Simon Jones, Stephen Harmison.

Umpires: D Hair, S Taufel.

Vaughan salutes players and fans

England captain Michael Vaughan paid tribute to his team after the draw in Durban ensured an unbeaten 2004. England were two wickets short of victory when bad light stopped play 15 overs early in Durban

"The clouds came in, there's nothing we can do, but we're delighted to still be 1-0 up.

"After day two we were really fighting and the way we came back to have South Africa on the rack was fantastic, all our team deserve credit," he said.

"We go to Cape Town to have a good new year and play a good Test.

"There's been two great Tests and I'm sure there will be three more to come."

Vaughan was also appreciative of the unique backing for his team provided by the Barmy Army.

"I believe there'll be even more in Cape Town," he said.

"We're delighted with their support and we're hopeful we can have as good a 2005 as 2004.

"That's our aim, to continue our run."

BBC Sport

posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 07:21 AM


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