Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sport: Cricket: England on Tour
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Rugby League 
Rugby Union 
Formula 1 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Jonathan Agnew
The lunchtime report from Durban
 real 28k

Sunday, 26 December, 1999, 11:14 GMT
England survive Atherton loss

Atherton England found their footing despite Atherton's dismissal

Click here for latest scorecard

England skipper Nasser Hussain and out-of-form opener Mark Butcher helped the side overcome another poor start in the third Test against South Africa.

By lunch the tourists were 44 for one off 29 overs of a sunny Boxing Day morning in Durban.

Michael Atherton was the sole victim, losing out to the first South African bowling change and Nantie Hayward with the score on seven.

Hussain had won the toss and decided to bat at Kingsmead, as play got under way on time despite recent heavy rain.

We do not want to be defensive and we think this gives us the best chance of going 2-0 up in the series
SA selector Rushdie Magiet
Fears about the pitch proved unfounded, and it offered little movement and virtually no swing through the air.

South Africa had decided to add an extra bowler to their attack at Jonty Rhodes' expense.

But despite using six bowlers before lunch there was no way through the defences of Hussain and Butcher for Hansie Cronje's side.

Once Atherton had gone, the pair concentrated on survival, although there was some counter-attacking.

The skipper was once again prepared to attempt the hook shot as he made 15 before lunch,

Butcher, who went into the match without a half-century in his last 19 innings, enjoyed two reprieves on his way to 24.

Recalled spinner Paul Adams dropped a catch off the second ball of the day from Allan Donald.

Butcher then edged Lance Klusener through the slips after he had progressed to 15.

The sole breakthrough came after Donald was replaced by Hayward, and Atherton perished for just one run.

The former captain received a rising delivery from the young South African paceman, which he chopped down onto his stumps to leave England seven for one.

Rhodes out

Natal batsman Rhodes has played 17 consecutive Tests before being dropped.

With all-rounder Jacques Kallis now cleared to bowl again after a knee injury, the side had five front-line bowlers plus Klusener and skipper Cronje.

"We want to be positive. We do not want to be defensive and we think this gives us the best chance of going 2-0 up in the series," said convenor of selectors Rushdie Magiet.

England made just the one expected change, with Darren Maddy replacing the injured Michael Vaughan.

The tourists need at least a draw to keep their hopes of a series victory alive.

Weather: Sunny

Wicket: Firm

South Africa: G Kirsten, H H Gibbs, J H Kallis, D J Cullinan W J Cronje (Capt), L Klusener, S M Pollock, M V Boucher (Wkt) A A Donald, M Hayward, P R Adams.

England: M A Atherton, M A Butcher, N Hussain (Capt), D L Maddy A J Stewart (Wkt), C J Adams, A Flintoff, A R Caddick, D Gough C E W Silverwood, P C R Tufnell.

England won toss and decided to bat

Umpires: D L Orchard and D B Cowie

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

See also:
26 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Slater stars at Melbourne
26 Dec 99 |  Cricket
Lloyd in need of a rest
24 Dec 99 |  England on Tour
Cricket gets nasty at Christmas
25 Dec 99 |  England on Tour
England dare not lose
24 Dec 99 |  England on Tour
Elements conspire against England
23 Dec 99 |  England on Tour
England fear more pitch trouble
21 Dec 99 |  England on Tour
Ramprakash gets the nod
17 Dec 99 |  England on Tour
Butcher and Maddy slug it out
13 Dec 99 |  England on Tour
England bat out vital draw
28 Nov 99 |  England on Tour
South Africa ease home
Links to other England on Tour stories are at the foot of the page.