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Page last updated at 07:28 GMT, Sunday, 17 January 2010

Live text commentary - South Africa v England


To get involved e-mail (with 'For Ben Dirs' in the subject), text 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide) (with "CRICKET" as first word) or use 606 (Not all comments can be used)

By Ben Dirs

1052: Right you lot, many thanks for all the chat during the series, it's been fun. Bangladesh next, isn't it? See you all soon...

"Because, Tom Brown (see below), English people are sick to death of England teams in general underachieving. England has far more resources and players from a basic level upwards to choose from, yet you have just echoed what is wrong by your comment, condoning underachieving. We should be on top of the heap."
Andrew Green in the TMS inbox

1042: Got to be honest, I can't get that excited about England drawing this series. Four batsmen averaging in the twenties, the bowling doesn't look much cop unless it's swinging, and the bottom line is this: to most people in England, English cricket means one thing, and that's the Ashes, and there's no way England are even going to compete in Australia if they turn up and play like they have in this series.

"I can excuse Collingwood having a thrash, without him we would have been stuffed in this series. I hope he goes into the dressing room and wades into some of our flops."
Gordon, Alicante, in the TMS inbox


Wicket falls
1030 - Sidebottom b Duminy 15 (Eng 169)
Duminy to bowl the final over before lunch, and Sidebottom flogs the first ball, another long-hop, to the mid-wicket fence. A short-leg, two slips and a silly mid-off in for Sidebottom, who crashes Duminy over the top for four more... but that's that, Sidebottom taking one liberty too many and losing his off-stump. South Africa win by an innings and 74 runs.

1028 - 161-9 Quick single from Sidebottom after a drop into the off-side, and there's a no-ball as well. Short of a length from Steyn, and Anderson plays that very well, standing tall and dabbing the ball into the ground. Steyn digs one in and Anderson wears one in the breadbasket. No sympathy from the bowler, who turns immediately and wheels away like a boxer retreating to a neutral corner.

"Tom Brown (see below) is right - but only to a certain degree. England managed to scrape two barely-deserved draws from situations where, in the past, they would have lost. They won one match in fine style. And now they look like losing another by an innings. The reason English sports fans rip into their players is the disappointment experienced when people don't at least go down fighting."
Mark, In the Peak District, in the TMS inbox

1022 - 159-9 Collingwood finished the series with 344 runs at 57. Lord alone knows how England would have fared without him. Sidebottom stands tall and pushes into the off-side for a single... here comes Steyn, attempting to deliver the coup de grace before lunch...

1018 - 156-9 Anderson is England's number 11. He's off the mark with a single, before Sidebottom nicks the strike with a thick outside edge.

"Kevin Pietersen gives me the same impression that Steve Harmison did a few years back. That rarest of things, an England player with real world-beating quality and then soon after he reaches the top he loses his nerve. Really hope he doesn't fall away the same way Harmison did."
Chris, Liverpool, in the TMS inbox

Wicket falls
1012 - WICKET - Collingwood c Morkel b Duminy (Eng 154-9)
Here's JP Duminy with some lollipops before lunch, and Collingwood has rammed his first ball, a rank long-hop, down Morkel's neck at deep square-leg. Horrible, England will be lucky to make lunch.

1012 - 153-8 That's a doozy of a straight drive from Sidebottom, and he picks up three for it. Morkel with a bumper, and Collingwood does well to get underneath it. Another upper-cut from Collingwood, and he's now 70 from 87 balls with 12 fours and a six.

1007 - 146-8 BOOM! Over-pitched from Steyn and Collingwood shellacks him over long-off for six. "I don't remember ever seeing anyone doing that to Joel Garner," says my cricket ed, and he's no doubt right. Colly's done himself a mischief off the next ball, diving after being sent back by Sidebottom. Think it must be that gammy finger of his...

"What I don't get about English sport in general is the incessant need to rip apart our players at the first opportunity. We are playing the second ranked team in the world on their home turf, are not going to lose the series and have on occasions managed to save Test matches in the past we would certainly have lost. Why can't we focus on the marvellous one day series followed by the positives from the Test matches? WELL DONE TO THE LADS!"
Tom Brown in the TMS inbox

1000 - 140-8 Wide from McLaren and Collingwood slashes him over the slips for four. More width from McLaren and Colly misses out with a flashing drive, but he does pick up a single with a push into the covers. Lunch at 1030 GMT by the way...

"The English born players in England's top seven (Bell, Colly and Cook) all average over 40 for the series, and the South African born players (Strauss, KP, Trott and Prior) all average under 30 for the series - coincidence, or have they bottled it?"
James in the TMS inbox

0956 - 134-8 Ryan Sidebottom is the new batsman, and there are three slips and a gully... Siders survives the last ball of Steyn's over...

Wicket falls
0949 - WICKET - Swann c De Villiers b Steyn 20 (Eng 134-8)
Swann teeing off, but he misses out on a Steyn delivery just outside off-stump. A brace for Swann, before the Notts spinner, glides Steyn, a la slip practice, over the cordon for four. Cheeky. Four more - leg side from Steyn, and Swann drags him to the long-leg fence. But that's the cameo over, Steyn sending down a pretty unplayable delivery and De Villiers snaffling the catch at gully.

"I was watching a commercial TV channel last night, when they ran an advert for a new Robson Green fishing programme. It got me thinking, like England's batting in Jo'burg, what happened to that nice Jerome from Robson and Jerome?"
Andy, Cobnash, in the TMS inbox

0949 - 124-7 One apiece for Swann and Collingwood, before Swanny laces McLaren through the covers for four. Gotta love Swann, he plays his cricket with a swagger and a smile. Collingwood is beaten by a ball that holds its line.

"Perhaps we can ask KP and Prior to watch the video of Atherton's 185 in the second Test in SA '95. 11 hours, 492 balls. Get them to count how many ridiculous pull shots or chasing wide ones were in the whole innings. Atherton wanted to save the game. You have to wonder if KP and Prior really have the desire to grind it out, or if they simply don't care?"
Craig, Poznan, Poland, in the TMS inbox

0945 - 117-7 More drinks, not sure why. Some pretty naughty behaviour from Broad after his dismissal, he dragged himself off the field like a man utterly convinced in his own innocence, despite the fact he clearly gloved it.

0943 - 117-7 McLaren into the attack now, and that's a maiden over. Collingwood brings up his 19th Test fifty courtesy of a square-drive for four, before Morkel almost has Swann caught in the slips, but Prince is unable to drag it in with his hand.

0936 - 111-7 Swanny's next up, and he claimed on his Twitter that he'd score his maiden Test century today. He's off the mark with a chip to mid-on for one, before Collingwood pings a short ball from Morkel to the mid-wicket fence. Four of England's top seven average between 22 and 27 for the series. In case you're new to cricket, that's not very good.

Referral - out
0930 - WICKET - Broad c Boucher b Morkel 1 (Eng 104-7)
Parnell really in the groove here, getting Broad to play and miss outside off-stump. A cracking bouncer from Parnell leaves Broad in a proper pickle, and Morkel takes over next over, getting Broad to glove one to Boucher down the leg-side. Again, the on-field umpire didn't see that and it has to be reviewed, but there was never really any doubt.

0925 - 103-6 Stuart Broad is the new batsman, but the batsmen crossed and Collingwood sees out the rest of the over. That really was a terrible stroke from Prior - trying to hook a rising ball outside off-stump from Morkel second ball is a bit like trying to climb through the doors of a train passing by at 100mph. Strauss's reaction said it all, he looked like a man whose son had just sabotaged his school nativity play by punching one of the kings in the face.

Out for a duck
0919 - WICKET - Prior c Smith b Morkel 0 (Eng 103-6)
Dear oh Lord, Prior's gone second ball. He was almost gone first ball, Amla very nearly taking a catch at short-leg, and second ball he skies a pull to Graeme Smith, running round behind wicketkeeper Boucher. "That's one of the daftest shots you can play, you've got to be wrong in the head to play one of those shots," Sir Geoffrey Boycott says. He's quite upset.

Wicket falls
0915 - WICKET - Bell c Kallis b Morkel 5 (Eng 103-5)
A single apiece for Bell and Collingwood, before Bell edges a climber from Morkel to Kallis at second slip.

0912 - 101-4 Collingwood plays a wristy back-foot drive and the ball skews to just in front of the diving De Villiers at gully. Parnell's not bad for a 20-year-old, that much is clear - he locates the edge of Collingwood's blade and the ball races away for four. England pass 100. Only 20 first-class matches and 51 wickets at 34.60... while the first two numbers will rise significantly, the last number will go down.

0909 - 97-4 Morkel getting one to nip back slightly, but that's a good leave from Bell. Short and wide from Morkel, and that's not too clever from Bell, reaching for it and missing. That's a crackerjack delivery from Morkel - it were wasted on thee lad - the ball pitching, rising and leaving Bell off the seam. Don't look in the mirror this morning, John Collins, you'll hate that mirror, it will make you feel so worthless...

"The wine list was pretty disappointing if I'm honest Ben, I'm not sure what year the Californian rose was but it hadn't been left to breathe properly. Re Shawn in Michigan - spare a thought for my flatmate - he messaged his ex from my Facebook account suggesting she go on a date with him. If that's not truly pathetic then my name's Roger Telemachus."
John Collins, The Fifth Worst City in the World, in the TMS inbox

0904 - 97-4 One leg-bye off the pads of Bell, before Parnell thinks he's got Collingwood leg before again. Umpire Hill doesn't give it, and South Africa don't review. The replays suggest that was clipping the top of middle. Parnell looking pretty impressive on debut so far, Collingwood nibbling again outside off-stump.

"One word re Kevin Pietersen: Responsibility. He is a senior player who should have the sense to know that wafting around outside off stump in this situation is totally daft. He would never have played that shot as England captain, an appointment which IMHO enhanced his value no-end. Just because he is no longer captain does that mean he has no responsibility. He needs to get his head sorted."
James in the TMS inbox

Referral - not out
0859 - 96-4 Morkel is bang on the money immediately after the restart, but that goes down as a blown review - lbw appeal, but hit Collingwood about a foot outside the line. Good ball though, bit of in-swing, but Colly blocks out the rest of the over.

0854 - 96-4 Collingwood has 40 from 44 balls now, and Bell's not going to hang about either, he's off the mark with a well-controlled square-cut for four. Bell thinks about having a nibble outside off-stump, as the camera pans to a pensive looking Kevin Pietersen on the England balcony. Helen from Darlaston? Big girl? Eats Frazzles?

0849 - 92-4 What now for Kevin Pietersen? Never before has he been in as bad a nick as this. Collingwood, still playing his shots, very nearly drags on, before Steyn digs one in and the Colly fends him to square-leg - two runs for the shot, but Bell should have been run out there, that was a terrible throw. Another half-tracker from Steyn and Collingwood's onto that in a flash, tugging the ball to the square-leg boundary.

"After four years my fiancee has left me; I've lost my apartment and at age 30 I've moved back in with my father; now I work as a substitute teacher in inner-city schools. England can't lose this series, they're all I have left."
Shawn in Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA, in the TMS inbox

0844 - 84-4 Parnell getting up towards 90mph, and Bell tries a rather odd shot to his first ball faced, steering to just short of the slip cordon. Bell gets a bumper second ball, and he plays it well, dropping to one knee and yanking his head out of the line of fire.

0843 - 84-4 Cometh the hour, cometh Ian Bell...

Wicket falls
0840 - WICKET - Pietersen c Boucher b Parnell 12 (Eng 84-4)
Down goes KP, chasing a wide one and nicking Parnell to Boucher behind the stumps. Pretty poor shot to be honest.

0839 - 84-3 Collingwood does little more than put his bat in the way and the ball races to the long-off fence for four. Not sure how long he's going to last, but he looks in very good nick. Colly hooks rather unconvincingly for one, before KP is beaten outside off. Yates's (see below)? The Wine Lodge? What did you spend the evening drinking? La Tâche? Romanee-St.Vivant? Or WKD?

"I think spending Saturday night in Yates's, Wolverhampton, puts everything in perspective. I've woken up this morning filled with optimism, KP is going to score big, Colly is going to grind out a gritty ton and Helen from Darlaston will be texting me shortly."
The Epically hungover John Collins, Wolverhampton, in the TMS inbox

0833 - 78-3 Wayne Parnell, left-arm over, is into the attack already. Pietersen pushes into the covers for a couple, but plays a diabolical stroke next ball, chasing a ball a full foot outside off-stump. Celebrity Big Brother, what's that all about? Although, Stephanie Beacham - a lady.

"Collingwood to play a swashbuckling role and score at a prolific rate. Pietersen to be the stoic and unshakeable anchor who leaves 90% of the deliveries he faces. Together they overtake the deficit and go on to post 400+ runs for the Saffers to chase tomorrow. I find out I've won the lottery and a bevy of supermodels arrive to clean my house. This is destined to be the best day ever."
Ross still waking up, Lingfield, Surrey, in the TMS inbox

0829 - 76-3 Collingwood's not mucking about this morning - Steyn drags one down and the Durham Nugget rolls his wrists and pulls him to the mid-wicket fence. No point in dying wondering, as Colly gloves another bumper straight over Boucher's head behind the timbers for four more. Collingwood, liked an overexcited mouse, very nearly nibbles outside off, before watching the final two balls of the over pass safely by.

0824 - 68-3 Decent crowd in at the Wanderers, without being spectacular. The grass mounds well populated at least, and the punters appreciated that stroke from Collingwood, who flashes a wide ball from Morkel to the third-man boundary. KP is off the mark for the day, courtesy of a whip off the pads for one. Good running from Colly, urging KP through for a single, and the Saffers look to be lacking last night's urgency so far this morning.

0819 - 62-3 Collingwood looks like a walking wicket at the moment - no foot movement and he's beaten by Steyn playing a very wooden looking drive. Better from Collingwood, pushing to mid-on for a couple.

0815 - 60-3 Bit of low bounce there from Morkel, and KP plays it well, jabbing his bat down on the ball. Pietersen, tattoo snaking out from under his right shirt sleeve, misses out on a leg-stump delivery, before calmly watching a spot of chin music rush by.

0812 - 60-3Andrew (see below), I'll bet you a 1981 Bedford camper van that Swann does not score his maiden Test century in this match. Colly plays a rancid shot, jabbing outside off-stump and edging over the slips and away for four. Collingwood looks like he's batting with an upright vacuum cleaner at the moment, and he's beaten by Steyn again.

"Hi Ben, it seems Swanny shares Alexander's (see below) optimism. I quote from his Twitter page: '... also that I'm going to score my maiden test century tomorrow... you heard it here first' - centuries from Collingwood, Pietersen (about time), Prior, Broad and Swann could see England save this Test."
Andrew in New Zealand in the TMS inbox

0807 - 55-3 Morne Morkel to bowl the first full over of the day. Collingwood on strike, three slips, a gully and a short-leg posted. Short and wide and Collingwood bags the first runs of the day courtesy of a skewed cut over the slip cordon for four. More deliberate this time from Collingwood, upper-cutting for three.

0803 - 48-3 It's like morning assembly out there, with a rather bleary-eyed version of Jerusalem belted out before Steyn's over is through. Pietersen negotiates it with little fuss.

0801 - 48-3 Dale Steyn has four balls of an over left over from last night, and it's Kevin Pietersen on strike...

By Paul Grunill

0750: I've checked out a couple of weather sites and it seems England can expect some more overhead assistance today, but I suspect they'll have to rely more on the mettle of their batsmen to get out of this one. Anyway, the good news is that Mr Dirs has just breezed through the door, so I'll be handing over to him shortly....

"Adelaide 2006 - PD Collingwood 206, KP Pietersen 158. I still have hope." Alexander Houghton in the TMS inbox

Michael Vaughan
0745: "It's overcast and it feels like a good bowling morning", former England skipper Michael Vaughan tells TMS. Play gets under way at 0800 and you can bet your bottom dollar, indeed every dollar in your pile, that KP and Colly are going to face some serious heat from South Africa first up.

0735: The first thing to report is that Mr Dirs is en route from somewhere out Essex way, so until he arrives you've got to put up with me. So what can I tell you? Well, I can tell you that Richie Blackmore's Rainbow are ideal driving music as you head down the M1, even the Joe Lynn Turner version....but perhaps we should stick to cricket. So is Aggers right? Will Steyn and Morkel run through England like a paper guillotine through....well, paper? Or will KP emerge from his shell and produce a barnstorming innings to put a smile on the faces of England fans everywhere?

0730: Morning all. According to BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew: "Unless they are spared by a thunderstorm, England are destined to lose today." Hmmm, let's see, shall we?

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Live Scores - South Africa v England


  • South Africa beat England by an innings and 74 runs
  • South Africa: 423-7 (119.0 overs)
  • England: 180 & 169 (42.5 overs)

England 2nd Innings

All out
Player outReason Bowledby Runs
Total all out 169
Strauss lbw b Parnell 22
Cook c Smith b Morkel 1
Trott c de Villiers b Steyn 8
Pietersen c Boucher b Parnell 12
Collingwood c Morkel b Duminy 71
Bell c Kallis b Morkel 5
Prior c Smith b Morkel 0
Broad c Boucher b Morkel 1
Swann c de Villiers b Steyn 20
Sidebottom b Duminy 15
Anderson not out 1
Extras 6nb 1w 6lb 13

see also
South Africa v England photos
17 Jan 10 |  England
England facing heavy Test defeat
16 Jan 10 |  England
England slam referral 'shambles'
16 Jan 10 |  England
England escape in thrilling draw
07 Jan 10 |  England
England wrap up emphatic Test win
30 Dec 09 |  England
England scrape draw in first Test
20 Dec 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England

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