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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 January, 2005, 15:58 GMT
England's bid to save Test fades
Third Test, Cape Town (stumps, day four):
England 163 & 151-5; South Africa 441 & 222-8 dec

Andrew Strauss
England's hopes of saving the third Test faded massively on day four in Cape Town as South Africa reduced them to 151-5 as they chased a nominal 501.

Marcus Trescothick was out second ball, and was later joined in the pavilion by Andrew Strauss, Robert Key, Michael Vaughan and Andrew Flintoff.

Early in the day, South Africa lost four wickets before declaring on 222-8.

Their bowlers soon made major in-roads into the England batting with Shaun Pollock and Nicky Boje impressing.

South Africa had started the day hoping to pile further pressure on England but that went awry almost immediately.

Before adding any runs to their overnight total, Boeta Dippenaar lofted the simplest of catches to Vaughan.

The hosts were then let down by two farcical run outs, both involving Jacques Kallis.

First Boje was left stranded - Vaughan stepping up to run him out - and then Kallis (66) followed after a dire mix-up over a second run with Hashim Amla.

Amla and AB de Villiers pushed the score along with 10 runs apiece, before being caught off the bowling of Simon Jones and Steve Harmison respectively.

Shaun Pollock celebrates Marcus Trescothick's rapid demise
South Africa had plenty to celebrate after their batting slip-up

England's hopes of winning looked virtually impossible when they were set 501. The highest winning score by a side batting last is 418 by West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003.

And England's bid to even save the match got off to a diabolical start when Trescothick steered the ball into the clutches of Amla at silly mid-off. He was the first of Pollock's two victims on the day.

To their credit, they steadied after Trescothick's downfall as Strauss and Key eked out any available run with some often dour cricket.

But after adding 68 for the second wicket with Key, Strauss (39) was cruelly given out lbw off Boje by umpire Steve Bucknor. Replays had shown him getting a clear edge.

If Strauss's dismissal was cruel, Key's was well-deserved.

Having shown superb concentration for his 41, he suicidally charged down the wicket to Boje, took a massive swipe at the ball, missed and was promptly stumped by de Villiers.

Before South Africa had had a chance to celebrate that success, they were boosted by another cheap wicket - this time that of Vaughan.

Having survived an earlier appeal, he pulled Makhaya Ntini to Jacques Rudolph, who made no mistake with the catch.

Graham Thorpe and Flintoff - England's last two recognised batsmen - looked set to play out the rest of the day before Pollock struck once more.

Flintoff's 20-run effort was ended when he edged the ball to de Villiers to leave England facing their first Test defeat since December 2003.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Jacques Rudolph, Boeta Dippenaar, Hashim Amla, AB de Villiers (wkt), Shaun Pollock, Nicky Boje, Makhaya Ntini, Charl Langeveldt.

England: Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss, Robert Key, Michael Vaughan (capt), Graham Thorpe, Andrew Flintoff, Geraint Jones (wkt), Ashley Giles, Simon Jones, Matthew Hoggard, Steve Harmison.

Umpires: S Bucknor (WI), D Harper (Aus)

Report: BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew

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