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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July, 2003, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
South Africa dominate
Herschelle Gibbs
Gibbs was in sparkling form
First Test, Edgbaston, day one. South Africa 398-1 (close) v England.

A record-breaking partnership between Herschelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith put South Africa in total control of the first Test against England.

The openers started cautiously after Smith won the toss and elected to bat under overcast skies at Edgbaston.

But, once settled, they punished poor bowling from their hosts with sumptuous shots to all parts of the ground.

Gibbs, in particular, was expansive en route to 179.

And Smith chose a supporting role, finishing the day on a superb 178 not out.

TOP 1ST WICKET STANDS IN TESTS
413: V Mankad & Pankaj Roj (India v NZ, Madras, 1955-56)
387: G Turner & T Jarvis (NZ v WI, Georgetown, 1971-72)
382: W Lawry & R Simpson (Aus v WI, B'town, 1964-65)
368: G Smith & H Gibbs (SA v Pak, Cape Town, 2003)
359: L Hutton & C Washbrook (Eng v SA, Jo'burg, 1948-49)
338: G Smith & H Gibbs (SA v Eng, Edgbaston, 2003)
335: M Atapattu & S Jayasuriya (SL v Pak, Kandy, 2000)

By then, Gibbs had given away his wicket by looping a shot off part-time spinner Michael Vaughan to Mark Butcher in the deep.

But the South African pair had already done ample damage.

Their stand of 338 is the sixth highest in Test history even if - incredibly - it is not the largest Gibbs/Smith partnership, following a 368-run effort earlier this year.

The England bowling figures made sorry reading.

Seamer James Anderson had a torrid time, failing to find his line and going for 78 runs from 13 wayward overs.

He was also warned by umpire Venkataraghavan for running on to the pitch during his follow-through.

And Darren Gough fared little better on his return to Test cricket after an injury-enforced absence of two years.

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It fell to Andrew Flintoff to try to repair the damage with some tighter bowling.

But when Ashley Giles and Mark Butcher came into the attack Gibbs decided the time was right to swing the bat with considerable effect.

That said, he and Smith owed a fair amount to luck.

Gibbs mistimed a half volley, which Michael Vaughan dropped at point off Butcher's bowling after lunch.

And Smith, who had a few early scares, got the benefit of a lot of doubt when Giles looked to have trapped him for 128.

On balance, though, South Africa played brilliantly to set up a big total, with in-form Gary Kirsten unbeaten on 26 and plenty of batting to come.

England, for their part, face a daunting task.

When they do get to bat, opener Marcus Trescothick is a doubt, having fractured his right index finger in the field.


England: Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan, Mark Butcher, Nasser Hussain (captain), Alec Stewart, Anthony McGrath, Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Darren Gough, James Anderson, Steve Harmison.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (captain), Herschelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten, Jacques Rudolph, Boeta Dippenaar, Mark Boucher, Shaun Pollock, Robin Peterson, Dewald Pretorious, Charl Willoughby, Makhaya Ntini.



Links to more Eng v SA 2003 stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs
"It was a bit naughty to get out when I did"


England coach Duncan Fletcher
"There's a lot of food for thought"



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