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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 January, 2005, 15:37 GMT
Trescothick saves England blushes
Fourth Test, Johannesburg (day four, stumps): England 197-5 & 411-8d; South Africa 419 all out

Marcus Trescothick
The fourth Test between South Africa and England hangs in the balance after England threw away a good advantage to end day four on 197-5.

Marcus Trescothick hit his 10th Test century and put on 124 for the third wicket with Michael Vaughan (54).

But England then crumbled from 175-2 as Vaughan, Graham Thorpe and Andrew Flintoff lost their wickets rapidly before bad light stopped play.

Earlier South Africa scored 419 to give them an eight-run first-innings lead.

England had got off to the best possible start on Sunday when Shaun Pollock was trapped lbw by Matthew Hoggard with the second ball of the day.

But then new batsman Nicky Boje took apart England's bowling attack, ably supported by Herschelle Gibbs.

Gibbs' captivating knock of 161, however, ended when he was caught on the boundary rope by Hoggard off the bowling of James Anderson.

Andrew Flintoff in action early in the day in the field
Flintoff failed to shine either with ball or bat on day four
His departure failed to deter Boje, who having been dropped on four moved to 48 before being run out in a farcical mix-up with Makhaya Ntini.

Ntini, though, continued to frustrate England as he and Dale Steyn moved South Africa to 419 and a narrow first-innings lead.

Ntini, who had scored 26 with the bat, proved equally menacing with the ball and got the golden breakthrough almost immediately.

Dangerman Andrew Strauss, yet to score, edged the paceman to AB de Villiers at third slip.

Robert Key then looked in good form for his 19 before he too was caught off Ntini in the slip cordon.

That brought Trescothick and Vaughan together and the pair tore through the South African bowling with a series of breathtaking boundaries.

After tea, though, they slowed their run rate (at one stage up to six an over for the innings) dramatically.

Despite their dip in run scoring, they moved to 175-2 before Vaughan gave an outside edge off Pollock. Mark Boucher made no mistake with the gloves.

Then Thorpe, who had been removed for duck in the first innings, scored just one before being dismissed by a scintillating diving catch from bowler Jacques Kallis.

Flintoff managed an impressive six but then fell in similar fashion to Vaughan, before Trescothick hit his 15th boundary for his century.

Moments later England were offered the light and opted to end play.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Rudolph, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Boeta Dippenaar, Mark Boucher (wkt), Nicky Boje, Shaun Pollock, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn.

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

Umpires: SA Bucknor and Aleem Dar; Match referee: CH Lloyd.

Report: BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew

Interview: England batsman Marcus Trescothick

Interview: South Africa bowler Shaun Pollock

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