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Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Thursday, 17 December 2009

South Africa v England 1st Test day two as it happened

First Test, Centurion (day two):


To get involved e-mail (with 'For Tom Fordyce' 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 Tom Fordyce

1600: CLOSE Eng 84-1
Harris will take it, close fielders gathering like bears round the honey pot. Wide, short, cut beautifully through the gaps by Strauss for four to the cover fence. Strauss gets behind the last few and that's stumps - the skipper not out on 44, Trott on 18. The pitch isn't doing much, the ball is behaving and the weather forecast for the weekend looks dicey. Draw to the fore?

From Ben, London, TMS inbox: "'Can you clarify 'not very good for a BBC supported site' please.'" Mike is punctuated wrong - there should be a question mark at the end of the sentence rather than a full stop. Not very good for a BBC supported site."

1559: Eng 84-1
Ooohs from the two slips, and why not - Trott has a poke at De Wet's slider and almost skinnies one through to Poucher. Time for one more?

From Ben, London, TMS inbox: "'1538: I don't mind that, but prefer "easy rip, no need to dabble at Harris's dobblers out of the cabbage'. That's much better for a BBC supported site."

1554: Eng 84-1
De Wet strains for the leg-stump yorker - take that you swine, crashed through midwicket by Strauss to move to 39. Two more off the pads, and the partnership is up to 58.

1550: Eng 76-1
Ntini bounds in like an over-excitable gazelle, pinging 80mph+ darts at Jonathan Trott, who opts for the Terry Wogan school of safe hands management with a straight blade. Maiden over.

From Mike, TMS inbox: "Can you clarify 'not very good for a BBC supported site' please. I thought was part of the BBC, not supported by it. How did this happen? I would write to my MP if I knew which of his addresses was currently nominated as his main home."

1546: Eng 76-1
De Wet's return is greeted by a wristy back-foot flick through backward point for two by "Leon" Trott, while Amla goes all Gary Bailey and parries a miss-timed pull at midwicket for a single. Lots of O-shaped mouths as Friedel traps Strauss in front from around the wicket, but a shake of the head from umpire Aleem Dar indicates a huge inside edge on to pad, otherwise it would have been curtains. Skips brings up the 50 partnership with a dismissive pull past fine leg for his fourth boundary of the afternoon.

1538: Eng 68-1
Easy now, Skip - no need to try a slashing cut to Harris's tweakers in the rough. That sentence makes no sense, does it?

From Bryn, Bristol, TMS inbox: "Speaking of movies, I always enjoyed 'The Cook, The Snick, His Strife and Their Cover'. Absolute classic, that was."

1534: Eng 66-1
Tighter from Morkel, getting some lift from that Ambroseque action of his. Strauss catches one on the back peg, but he'd backed away and there's no sniff of an ell bee.

1530: Eng 66-1
In a tremendously post-modern move, Kallis appears to be picking a callous on his palm. Expect Morkel to don a snorkel shortly before Ntini sips a Martini and Prince complains about the design of the new pavilion. Mis-hit slog from Strauss as Harris drags one down with the arm, the ball skimming just past the long reach of mid-on.

From Tom, Old Bailey, TMS inbox: "Apparently the South Africans psyche themselves up before going out to field by listening to Notorious BIG's 'Mo Morkel Mo Problems'."

1526: Eng 60-1
Morkel, languidly strolling back to his mark with his spaghetti arms flopping loosely by his sides. Trott waves the first few past dismissively and then dinks a leg-stump yorker down to deep fine leg for a strike-pincher of a single.

From John, Manchester, TMS inbox: "Of course, it is well known that the Morkel brothers really don't get on, as famously noted by Meatloaf: 'Like a bat out of hell, Albie gone when the Morne comes'."

1522: Eng 58-1
Harris, tips of his shaggy hair bleached like those of a minor character in Neighbours, twirls in vain as Strauss dabs defensively. On the grass bank, a girl in a strapless bikini is angrily lecturing a staggering man slopping beer over the rim of his glass. There but for the grace of God.

From the clone of Eric Wandners, St Neots, TMS inbox: "Re Nick, Cambridge the correct quote is 'You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off'.' Re: Andy from Berkshire - the correct quote was 'They may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom!' Not very good for a BBC supported site."

1518: Eng 58-1
12 overs left in the day, and Trott twirls his battered G&M blade. Yorkel strains for the morker - i'm sorry, Morkel strains for the yorker - but Trott digs it out, and then examines the toe of his bat.

From Tom, Cardiff, TMS inbox: "On the subject of films I particularly enjoyed Hugh Grant in the 2002 hit 'A Boucher Boy''."

1511: Eng 58-1
Referral - not out

Interesting move from Smith - he's turned to Twirler Harris after just 11 overs. Hello - turned into Trott's front pad, big appeal, turned down by Umpire Steve Davis - referred! Let's have a look at this - come on, missing leg by a distance. Not a very big distance, actually. Blimey. Millimetres. Turned down again, but Trott's heart will be clanging like Fireman Sam's alarm bell.

1504: Eng 58-1
Morne Morkel for his first rumble of the series, South Africa's very own youthful Steve Harmison. Yup, there we go - fast long-hop down leg, tickled fine by Trott for casual four. Fast, short and wide of off, followed by a no-ball. Something of Suggs about Morkel facially - Suggs having suffered the Mike Teevee stretching treatment, to be fair.

From James, Woolwich, TMS inbox: "Who could forget the legendary line from Life Of Brian: 'He's not the Makhaya, he's a very naughty boy!'"

1459: Eng 48-1
It'd be tempting fate to lay waste left, right and centre if I said that Trott was looking technically spot-on, wouldn't it? Four, drilled through cover, in, ah, technically inept fashion. Ahem.

1454: Eng 37-1
Ntini again, the evening shadows beginning to creep. Oh, classic Strauss - swivel-pull off the top of middle for four through square leg, followed by four more, cut away with quick hands as Ntini over-corrects to off. Two shots he'd almost sacked off completely this time last year, but they're back and working sweetly again.

From Nick, Cambridge, TMS inbox: Who'll ever forget the classic line from the Italian Job, 'You were only supposed to blow the bloody Boers off'."

1448: Eng 29-1
Three slips, gully, point, short midwicket in for Trott as De Wet sprints in - Lordy, that's a brute, hammering back in to the pads from just shy of a length, and Trott jabs down frantically to get a skinny edge into his thigh guard. 16 overs left in the day, the new ball still hard, the pitch starting to misbehave, Ntini full of 100th cap vim, De Wet riding the debutant wave - testing times.

1444: Eng 25-1
F5 to pick up changes - repeat, F5 to pick up changes... Whistles and hisses greet the arrival of Jonathan Trott, and we'll have some evening session spice for the next hour or so. Gaagh - big leave from Strauss as Ntini goes round the wicket, the ball pinging back in off the seam and blowing a kiss to the top of off as it somehow sneaks by.

By Pranav Soneji

Wicket falls
1438 Wicket Cook ct Boucher b De Wet Eng 25-1
Cook tucks into a full toss freshly served up from the bowler buffet through the covers for four, following that up with a better - and straighter - drive through mid-off for a second successive boundary. But Cook is back in the pavilion two balls later as he pokes at a good length delivery outside off stump, slivering a thin edge through to wicketkeeper Boucher. Up goes Steve Davis' finger and unbridled joy for De Wet.

1434 - Eng 17-0
Neat strokemaking from Strauss, who turns a full ball on his pads off Ntini through midwicket for three, well stopped inside the boundary rope by a well-timed slide by Morne Morkel. Definitely some extra zip off the surface for Ntini, but nothing to alarm either batsmen - so far.

1431 - Eng 13-0
A synopsis of De Wet's bowling action - a bit like Dale Steyn with a conservative sprinkling of Darren Gough. He stops for a brief word with Cook, who responds with an expression of a man given War and Peace in Afrikaans as a birthday present. Nice riposte from Cook, who eases a delivery on leg stump through midwicket for four.

1431 - Eng 13-0
A synopsis of De Wet's bowling action - a bit like Dale Steyn with a conservative sprinkling of Darren Gough. He stops for a brief word with Cook, who responds with an expression of a man given War and Peace in Afrikaans as a birthday present. Nice riposte from Cook, who eases a delivery on leg stump through midwicket for four.

1426 - Eng 6-0
Ntini, fresh from ball retrieving at the all-singing World Cup group draw in Cape Town, goes around the wicket to cramp Cook for room, but the Essex opener responds with a series of resolute defensive strokes. Shadows begin to lengthen all around the lush outfield.

Andy, Berkshire, TMS inbox: "Who can forget that classic Braveheart quote - 'They may take our lives, but they'll never take our Friedel!'"

Geoffrey Boycott
Geoff Boycott on Test Match Special: "I loved bowlers that glared at you. I used to think how quick they'd be if I was still batting tomorrow tea time."

1421 - Eng 5-0
Woah! Absolute stinker from Friedel de Wet, whose first delivery bounces twice about two foot down leg side on its way through to Boucher. Still not quite on a par with Brisbane 2006 though. The rest of the over is on the money like Mervyn King, although De Wet's follow through finishes about two inches from Strauss' front foot - he likes a glare too.

1416 - Eng 3-0
Palpable disappointment around the park as Ntini's first delivery is met with shouldered arms by Strauss, although the ball nips back off the track at a lively pace to brush his waist on the way through to Boucher. If you've opened your CD tray hoping to discover a glass of golden liquid, sorry, it ain't gonna happen. However, Ntini should have had Cook back in the pavilion, but inexplicably AB de Villiers shells a regulation catch at third slip off a thick outside edge. The ball goes through his hands before he has a chance to cup the new cherry. Huge let-off for Cook, but a very lively opening from Ntini.

I've just been told that if Makhaya Ntini takes a wicket with his very first ball on his 100th Test, every single spectator over the age of 18 at SuperSport Park will receive a free refreshing hops-based beverage courtesy of a very generous sponsor. No confirmation if that invitation extends to those sat in front of computers waiting for their screens to update though.

1404 - SA 418 all out
Swann collects his fifth wicket - albeit with another referral to the flustered Amiesh Saheba sat in the third umpire's room - as De Wet is trapped in front by a quicker ball. There's an air of despondency in Swann's eyes as De Wet makes the dreaded "T" sign, but replays uphold Aleem Dar's on-field decision, much to the relief of Swanny, who collects his third five-for in 13 Tests. Still, excellent total for the hosts and a potentially very tricky final 90 minutes for Alastair Cook and Andrew Strauss.

Referral - out
Wicket falls
1400 - Wicket De Wet lbw Swann 20 SA 418 all out

1357 - SA 418-9
Ntini is greeted as if Don Bradman has just wandered to the creased dressed as a monk. The decibels are cranked up a further notch as he nurdles a boundary through third man for four off a disgruntled Onions.

1354 - SA 414-9
Probably a first for De Wet in his nascent cricketing career - England's fielders have camped in the deep to encourage him to take a single to expose Ntini and his sack of batting frolics to Swann. But the paceman isn't having any of it and fends with doughty stoicism. Maiden over.

Wicket falls
1350 - Wicket Harris bowled Onions 38 SA 414-9
Our Friedel is no rabbit with the bat - more a canny stoat with a penchant for extravagant drives through the cover region, as displayed by his last effort off Onions to move to 20, extending this ninth-wicket partnership to 37 tres useful runs. Partner Paul Harris is in a spot of bother, though, as Jimmy Anderson gets to grip with his thumb and gives it a good pull (steady). Cramp? Possibly. The minor delay holds up play for a few minutes as Didier Deschamps-like water carriers flood the field to quench the thirst of England's bowlers. However, two balls later and Harris is back in the hutch as he lays a thick inside edge on to his off stump, a dismissal barely met with a murmur around the park. But the silence is suddenly pierced by a huge round of applause as Makhaya Ntini, making his 100th Test appearance for the Proteas, dances to the crease. Alright, more a shuffle.

1342 - SA 409-8
Paul Harris inches ever closer to quite possibly one of the most unaesthetically pleasing half centuries in the history of Test cricket with an ugly edge through second slip for two off Swann. Frustration in all quarters from England's forlorn fielders.

Matt, Southend-on-Sea, TMS inbox: "My girlfriend asked me the other day what I wanted for Christmas I replied "Don't get me Duminy presents, just get me a gift Boucher from Smith's."

1338 - SA 406-8
The Onionster, he of Iranian presidential lookalike fame, beats Friedel de Wet with a delivery which squirts under his bat outside off stump. The next delivery does something similar, but the man from Durban manages to sneak a single to third man.

1334 - SA 405-8
The ball finds its way into Swann's hands and the off-spinner has first-dibs at Paul Harris, for whom the word soporific was invented. But what does he care when he's unbeaten on 36 and collecting singles and the odd double with ease?

From Pete, TMS inbox: "Does that mean that we can expect Pranav to sue Tom at some point soon for co-writer's royalties?"

We've got Steve Harmison on TMS right now, worth tuning in for his thoughts about England and all sorts of other things. He's just said he can't dance.

While Tom attempts to get to grips with a cafetiere plunger, the bridesmaid has stepped in for her 60 minutes or so of limelight hogging, a bit like Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke at a Smiths reunion. Or the drummer and the other one as they are known to everyone else. Press the refresh button on your web browser or F5 to make the magic happen.

By Tom Fordyce

1310: TEA - SA 401-8
Maiden from Jimmy, devoid of action, fun or fury, and that's the interval. I'm off for an espresso enema.

1305: SA 401-8
71 runs in the session, and tea will be greeted like a long-lost lover by the England players.

From TC, TMS inbox: "Forget the cricket, how did Dave from Brizzle's middle-management job interview go? I'm on tenterhooks."

1300: SA 400-8
Bit of beef here between the returning Onions and De Wet - the batsman steps away late on two successive balls, and the Durham man isn't happy about that. Full toss down leg, half-saved by the sprawling Prior, and that's the 400 up. Tedious last half-hour, I'll be honest - just 15 runs and no wickets in the last 10 overs.

From Jez, Kennington, TMS inbox: "Surely Mary Poppins wins? She's SuperKallisCookdeVilliersOnionsAlmaBoucher. I thank you."

1255: SA 399-8
Fierce sun overhead, the outfield baking slowly. Anderson must feel like a man on some sort of turf treadmill - 216 deliveries now, most of which have either been left or dead-batted back. 15 minutes to tea, and England are toothless like a jellyfish at the moment.

From Graham, TMS inbox: "Do you think Eric Wandner from significant fame yesterday has gone in to hiding? Let's hear from you sir, surely it's time to come back."

1250: SA 398-8
Tickling sweep round the corner by Harris for one, and the partnership is up to 21. Slow death here for England, milked mercilessly like a dozy Friesian.

From Stu, Derby, TMS inbox: "Best quote from a movie is from Dirty Harry 'Go on Punk, Makhaya my day'."

1245: SA 395-8
Weather update: Saturday and Sunday are looking thunderstormy. Maiden from Swann, over in the time it takes you to read this sentence, and then Jimmy again, looking like he might burst into tears at any time. 35 overs in the innings might explain it. Swanny's got through 42. Ouch.

From Seb, Northampton, TMS inbox: "Does anyone else think Kallis' milkshakes might bring all the boys to the yard?"

1237: SA 395-8
Change of bowling from the perspiring Strauss - Anderson, from the Hennops River End. Bemused, hurt look on the bowler's face, and Broad puts some succour in his ears from mid-off. That won't help - short spitter, off the splice, bisecting second slip and gully for a morale-mashing four.

Text in your views on 81111
From Paul, St Austell, text 81111: "All these jokes using players names are keeping me entertained whilst I practice my Sean Connery impressions. I really am having Ashwell time... "

1229: SA 386-8
Swann, De Wet, cut, Colly... dropped! Only a charlatan or varmit would berate Colly after his four snags so far, but by his standards that was catchable - fastish, face-bound, but he got fingers to it. Swann clutches his head like Munch's Scream.

From Roger, Madrid, TMS inbox: "Of course the most famous cricket line in cinema history is from Casablanca: "We'll always have P Harris."

1226: SA 386-8
Dab, tickle, nudge - Harris nurdles away happily, and Broad is flushed of face and bemused of body language.

From Dave, Gibraltar, TMS inbox: "Best movie quote ever has to be Leo di Caprio's immortal "Amla king of the world! Woooooooo."

1222: SA 385-8
Now then - first Test innings for De Wet - will he play with Friedel, or is he too Wet behind the ears? There's the answer - two flashing drives off Swann, both for four. Not a bad way to take your bow. Although Swanny doesn't look like he agrees.

1218: WICKET Boucher c Cook b Swann 49, SA 377-8
Wicket falls

Tweak, thrust of the pad, bat goes too far in front of it - edged, straight down forward short leg's throat. At last...

1215: SA 377-7
A break for beverages. Broad wipes the fizzy stuff from his lips and calls for a silly mid-off to go in against Harris. Slider past the outside edge; Harris berates himself like a man on 99.

From Ian in Bathgate, TMS inbox: "Re: Sam from Brixton - the correct quote was 'Show me the money'. Not very good for a BBC supported site."

1207: SA 376-7
Broad has thunder all over his blond brows - three lifters from round the wicket into Harris's hopping ribs, then one angled across hunting the edge which gets toe-ended past the sprawling gully for a fluky four. On the South African balcony, Jacques Kallis tries on a new pair of shades and asks Hashim Amla if they suit him. Stick with 'em, says Amla.

From David, TMS inbox: "Going out last night; missus asked me, 'What car shall we use? Duminy?' 'No,' said I; 'I don't like using Ntini cars in de Wet.' "

1203: SA 370-7
Harris - or Kallis? Dance down the track to Swann, smashed high, high, high over long-on for a one-bounce four. Frustration writ clear on fielders' faces.

1200: SA 363-7
Kaboom - Harris swats away a pesky fly - or 'flaa', as Shaun Pollock has just pronounced it - and then unfurls a dreamy back-foot cover drive off the stormy-faced Broad for four more. Too easy, this, for the South African pair...

From Sam, Brixton, TMS inbox: "I think one of my favourite cricket-based lines in cinema must be Tom Cruise's line in Jerry Maguire - 'Show me Duminy'."

1155: SA 359-7
He knew what he was doing, the bat-throwing scamp - KP's head's all over the place, and when Boucher crashes an over-pitched Swann delivery out towards him, he makes a right old mess of the fielding and falls on his, erm, Harris. Centurion celebrates with unmitigated glee.

From Iain, snowy Midlothian, TMS inbox: "I'm appalled at Richard's play-on-words, could you Makhaya the quality of jokes in this feed?"

1150: SA 349-7
Broad gets the nod. Here he comes, his long arms whirling, blond hair bobbing, sun-creamed face snarling - dinked away through midwicket for two by Boucher. Single, then a pusher down the ground by Harris for two more. Easy. On the third man fence, KP is signing autographs for some young fans. One waves a small bat in his direction, is rebuffed, and responds by lobbing the bat dismissively at KP's feet. Ballsy.

From Carol, Maidenhead TMS inbox: "Peter (11.24). My 'witticisms' have been ignored on countless occasions. When this one doesn't appear as well, you'll never know I sent it, and will be none the wiser. However, it's not all glamour you know - I have accused in the past of being Ben Dirs's mum, after he printed a couple of my comments."

1146: SA 349-7
Harris enjoying himself out there. There's a dab here, an angler away there, and he's crept up to... six. Oh. Thought he was on a few more - probably a waste of that medium build-up.

From Lloyd, sunny Tiree, TMS inbox: "I feel ill if eat Duminy curries."

1140: SA 345-7
Boucher's gone very circumspect here. He's reined back the adventure like a man gripped by the ghost of C Tavare or Kepler W. Memory-free maiden from Swann.

From James, Waterloo, TMS inbox: "Was feeling a bit off colour this morning, quite fancied Dale Steyn at home."

1136: SA 345-7
Three slips in for Onions, and the tall Harris waits. Ooof - short one, worn on the shoulder with a wince by the spinner. He gets behind the next one and dabs into the off side for a sprinted single, and Boucher leaves the rest alone. First inebriated chants echo round the half-empty stands - could that be the watermelon men of earlier?

From John, TMS inbox: "I don't feel poorly today, but I Amla thargic."

1132: SA 341-7
Paul Harris to the fray, a pink handle on his Gray-Nicholls. Man in close on either side of the wicket, and Harris dabs one behind square to get off the quacker. There's a pleading appeal for lbw as Boucher sweeps, but his front peg was just outside off there.

1128: WICKET Morkel c Prior b Onions 13, SA 341-7
Wicket falls

Full from Onions, clattered back down the ground by Morkel for four. He's gone this time, though - wafting feebly at a tempting angler across the bows and thinning through to Prior behind the timbers. Relief in the England ranks.

From Peter, TMS inbox: "Paul in Lancashire seems to have a disproportionate number of mentions on the TMS live text. Is he a special friend of yours or do you have so few correspondents that his poor witticisms are needed to fill the space?"

1124: SA 335-6
Yup - MM's back on his feet, rolling his head from side to side like a boxer on the stool between rounds. Swann again now, trying to tempt Boucher into a reaching drive - nope, that's too far down leg, and the wide-eyed Poucher will whip that away through midwicket. Still not a sniff of a cloud up above - old-fashioned Factor 50 day.

From Richard, TMS inbox: "I have a ringing in my ears - I think it's Makhaya Ntinitus."

1121: SA 331-6
Hello again - all good? I'm told that there are more technical problems, meaning these updates might be reaching some people at a painful pace. I can only apologise again - if I find the clown responsible, I'll put his baubles on top of the BBC Christmas tree. Onions tears in - ooof, short lifter, straight onto Morkel's jaw. Nasty, nasty blow. He's on his back, lid off, and the physio dashes on. Let's have a look - he'll be okay, I think.

1050: Test Match Special have an interview with former coach Peter Moores - talking about his relationship with Michael Vaughan, interesting stuff.

Michael Vaughan on Test Match Special:
Michael Vaughan

"England have bowled well this morning, getting a couple of wickets and having Mark Boucher dropped on the boundary. Graeme Swann bowled beautifully, the slight concern for England is the amount of turn he's already getting, but he's been the pick of the bowlers and has been the real strike bowler."


From Linda, Newbury, TMS inbox: "When I was pregnant I used to get a touch of Morne Morkel sickness."

1037: Honours even after that session, you'd say. Right old hubbub about that Morkel out/in referral. More in 25?

From Dan, Bristol, TMS inbox: "Re: Carole in Maidenhead (10:11) - Colly has pulled your son? Does he know anything about this?"

1031: SA 330-6
Referral - not out

Yup - Swann will squeeze in one more. Morkel is trapped on the back peg, big appeal - given! England celebrate, but South Africa are going to ask this to be referred. Umpire Davis has given it, it looks out - by Hawk-Eye reckons it was just going over the top. Hmm - dubious at best - Trigger-Finger Fordyce would have sent Morkel on his way there. Swann stares silently at the heavens, and if Strauss hadn't put an arm around him, he'd still be there now, even with the rest of the players trotting off to the pavilion. Lunch.

From Tom, Kent, TMS inbox: "I've got Repetitive Strauss Syndrome."

1028: SA 327-6
Anderson squints into the harsh afternoon sun, buffs the ball on his thigh and scampers in - Morkel wants nothing to do with this, and he leaves with flamboyant flashiness outside off. Time for one more before lunch?

Text in your views on 81111
Coat, text 81111: Not poorly but after too much beer last night I De Wet the bed."

1025: SA 327-6
Turn and spit for the windmilling Swann, and Boucher uses pad and dead bat to stay alive. On the South Africa balcony, Graeme Smith bites his thumbnail and scratches his exposed knee with his spare hand while chinwagging with a serious-looking Makhaya Ntini.

From Paul, TMS inbox: "I'm suffering from Jacques Kallises on my feet."

1020: SA 327-6
Morkel, his face the shape of the old Uefa Cup trophy, crouches low over his blade and waits for the on-rushing Jimmy. Good leave - just over the top of off - and a stern defensive push to cover. Mmmm, fine shot - big stride forward, high front elbow, drive back down the ground in the style of his skipper Smith. In the stands, a blonde woman in a pale blue bikini is waiting, alone, with two beers (pauses, rubs eyes, shakes head sadly).

From Richard, Leeds, TMS inbox: "Re: Player related illness. I'm not sure but I may have Prior disease. I always forget to go to the toilet Prior to a long journey."

1014: SA 323-6
Referral - not out

Swann, twirling furiously - big slogger-sweep from Boucher, edge and boot - is that another for Colly at slip? The close fielders have all gone up, but Boucher's saying the ball struck turf before foot - we'll have a referral. Let's have a look at the replays - nope, no way you can give that one. Was that the referral system working smoothly? Lord alive...

From Carole in Maidenhead, TMS inbox: "Oooh, Colly, you're the man! I could snog your little ginger face off! Well, only if you shaved, weren't ginger, and looked like a young Sean Connery. Otherwise you've pulled my son!"

1011: SA 323-6
Jimmy now, luncheon 19 minutes away - Morkel leaves with ostentatious wafts and then blocks the last two back to mid-off. Time for another wicket before the interval?

From Paul in Lancs, TMS inbox: "Oh my word. I've just checked Wisden. That's a world record for the number of quite low down catches in the first innings of a four-Test series by a red-haired Englishman playing in the southern hemisphere."

1007: SA 323-6
All sorts of technical woe at the moment, meaning you've lost an over or two - sincere apologies, and if I find the man responsible I'll thrash him to within an inch of his IT keyboard. Swanny going over the wicket to Boucher - ooof, arm ball that nearly squeaks through the batsman's defences.

Text in your views on 81111
From Banjo, text 81111: Am poorly at home with the Jonathan Trotts after dodgy party buffet. Can see TV from smallest room though. Anyone else suffering player-name illnesses?"

1000: SA 322-6
Morkel the new man, and Swanny's beaming like Doris Day - once again he's struck with his first jouster. Colly's grin isn't far behind - four catches for Colly, just one behind the all-time Test record for an outfield player. Is that a chance? Broad bounces Boucher, Onions is underneath it at deep fine leg... dropped! Not an easy one, but he should have taken it - spiralling high, coming down two feet inside the ropes, spilled away for four.

Wicket falls
0956: SA 316-6 WICKET Duminy ct Collingwood b Swann 56
Apologies team, someone has trodden on a cable somewhere and we've lost some overs... Swann comes on for his first joust of the day and lo and behold! Just like on Wednesday, he has snaffled a wicket in his first over of the day. Duminy pushes forward to ball from around the wicket and snags an edge, magnificently pouched by Paul Collingwood at first slip.

0941: SA 308-5
Boucher's getting his eye in here. That's short and innocuous from Broad, and Boucher will pull those away all day long. Over-corrector next up, on the half-volley on middle, and then gets the treatment down the ground for four more. Another 90 runs and South Africa will be parked comfortably in the driving-seat.

From Dave, Bristol, TMS inbox: "Interview for a middle-management post at 11:30, so using the cricket to brush up on my lingo. On that basis, my summary of the day so far is that The management team have cascaded requirements to the front line workers who have demonstrated adherence to procedure. A reduction in the SA output evidences the success of the implemented efficiency savings, though there is still a tangible need for future-proofing of front line provision if we are to consolidate our recent progress in the market. Some nonsense about blue sky vision and thinking outside the box would probably be relevant as well."

0936: SA 300-5
Graham Onions to continue, feeling isotonic, give me gin and tonic, you can have it all but how much do you want it? Duminy's gone into his shell a little here, letting Boucher do the razzle-dazzle while he drops weighty anchor. Just beyond the cover boundary, a man in a jester's hat reclines in an inflatable jacuzzi and sups contentedly from a foaming stein.

From Nige, Warks, TMS inbox: "Due to the high quality of wildlife documentaries I certainly wouldn't expect such a basic error from a BBC supported site. First the misspelling of 'dayboo' and now mixing up Emperors and Rockhoppers. Shocking, makes me wonder what I pay my licence fee for."

0930: SA 299-5
Jay Pee being targeted by the short stuff here. Another Broad lifter whistles past his nose, and the slips bellow their brutal support. On the grassy bank, four men have donned helmets cut from the skin of watermelons. Quite fetching - the green and yellow pattern looks like something South Africa might have donned in a triangular one-day series Down Under in about 1993. Drinks.

From Paul in Lancs, TMS inbox: "Why on earth have they left a diving bell (0907hrs) at point? There's no excuse for that kind of wanton untidiness in modern cricket. Not only does it cost five runs if the ball strikes it, it also obscures the view of the paying public. Disgraceful."

0925: SA 298-5
Onions returns from the other end, and he strays a fraction leggish - tipped away by Boucher for a two and then a a dabber of a single. Still a mere smattering in the stands - must be a lot else going on in Centurion today. Enormous new railway viaduct being constructed just beyond the midwicket boundary, should these things tickle your fancy. And if they do, you might need to ask yourself some rather stern questions.

0920: SA 293-5
Whoosh - sinister, skidding short one from Broad, and Duminy nearly wears that on the hooter, ducking late like man trying to avoid a kamikaze wasp. Nothing to touch or tickle away, and that's a maiden - some pressure in the air at last.

Emperor penguin
From Lisa, Bexley CC, TMS inbox: "Does Anderson look more like this?"

0916: SA 293-5
Boucher, short-sleeved shirt, white towelling wristband a la Daley Thompson, steps into a fullish one from Anderson and creams it back past the stretching bowler for a splendid four. That's more like it, Jim - fraction shorter, zipping through, beating the uncertain prod from Poucher.

From Brian Tilley, TMS inbox: "I thought Colly was short for Collingwood, not colostomy bag. He must really be in trouble if he is on his third pouch already."

0912: SA 288-5
That's 50

Onions take a breather, and it's time for some Malfoy magic. Steady from Broad, fraction short but nothing spankable, but Duminy tips away the single that brings up his half-century. Fine knock - 130 balls, six fours and a six.

Text in your views on 81111
Matt, Oxford, text 81111: "Does Cooky have any say in the matter, or is it just down to which foot Swann kicks with? He sounds a selfish lover."

0907: SA 287-5
Jimmy, dander up, races in to new-man Boucher. Ooo-weee - heavy-footed poke at a wide one, and the ball flies just past the diving Bell at point. And another - nervy fence, coat of varnish away from a snick to stumper.

0903: SA 283-5
Now then, England - there's a chink in the chain-mail here. Ooosh - Onions fizzes ones past Duminy's desperately ducking grille, and there's a zip about Strauss's troops all of a sudden. I've just been told that my penguin is too big. Give me a mo and we'll shrink the shiverer.
Emperor penguins.  Apparently.

From Jill, Canary Wharf, TMS inbox: "Re 0842 - Emperor penguins don't have tufted up hair. You mean rockhoppers or macaronis."

0859: WICKET Kallis c Collingwood b Anderson 120, SA 283-5
Wicket falls

Full from Jim - thrust from Shark - snagged at slip! Lordy but that's a big wicket - no double-ton again for Kallis, and Anderson is enveloped by caterwauling colleagues. Nice low take from Colly again, his third pouch of the innings.

0856: SA 278-4
Onions to Shark, getting a little spicy lift from just shy of a length. Applause from the slip corden. Onions goes wider in the crease in search of a in-angled yorker, but Kallis will munch on those all day long - creamed backwards of point for a don't-bother-chasing-it four.

0851: SA 274-4
Tight from Anderson, angling across Duminy's watchful snout as the three slips lean low into the mid-morning sun. No movement at all for Jimmy so far, and he's gone 26 overs without a sniff now. Hmmm.

From Stephen Cordingley, TMS inbox: "England need to remove Shark Kallis early - he's the big fish..."

0847: SA 274-4
Huge banner over one of the advertising hoardings. "DIXON. TERRY. ZOLA." it says in massive letters. Why no mention of Paul Cannonville, Winston Bogarde or Eddie Nizweck.. Eddie Neizwi... Eddie Nizzwe... the old goalkeeper? Steady Eddie from Onions, Duminy stealing a single to leg and then watching from the other end as Kallis leaves everything alone with dismissive nonchalance.

BBC Sport's Joe Wilson on Twitter last night: "Sparse crowd centurion today, cricket being played on the grassy banks, takes me back to my youth at Grace Road. Slightly warmer here."

From Andy, Tooting, TMS inbox: "Am sitting in work in a darkened room trying to get rid of the work Christmas party hangover - failing miserably at it and then laughed at Swann's Tweet and that hurt."

0842: SA 273-4
Anderson, his hair tufted up like an Emperor penguin's, scampers in to the stumps, leaps, turns and sends down a short, wide slap-me delivery which Kallis cuts high over point for another four. Almost no-one in the ground so far - national holiday in South Africa yesterday, and maybe the Bank Holidayesque bonus lash is keeping a few under the duvet early doors.

Jonathan Agnew on Twitter: "Another beautiful day. 33 degrees and rain 1%. Doesn't suggest much help for bowlers!"

0838: SA 268-4
Three slips in for Graham Onions, who was wandering around with a compression sock on his right leg earlier on. At least, I think it was a compression sock - he may just have been rocking the Japanese schoolgirl look. Smashing line from the off, wicket to wicket, and Kallis withdraws his clumping blade from a tempter late enough to angle the ball into the ground and away to Strauss at first slip.

Graeme Swann on Twitter last night: "Have just had a lovely room date with Cookie. we ate steak and watched bear grylls. he'd be my ideal man, if i kicked with the other foot."

0833: SA 267-4
Here we go - James Anderson to go over the wicket to Duminy, and that's not good - second ball of the day is a little over-pitched and gets check-driven back down the ground for four runs of the easy-peasy variety. That's more like it - angling one back in to the enormo-Kallis, yelped appeal, going over the top.

0826: Before we start, just time for some In Other News. Over in Perth, Chris Gayle has just hit the fifth-fastest Test century of all time - 70 balls, nine fours, six sixes. Unfortunately Dougie Bollinger has just bagged him for 102. His partner at the other end, Travis Dowlin is on 31 from 74 balls. "We'll get 'em in singles, Skip." "You what, Travis?"

0821: Big old first session, this - England need to shovel Kallis back off to the pavilion sharpish, and then get Duminy and Boucher the Poucher to follow him before lunch. Consensus among the old pros knocking about it that Strauss's men must pitch the ball up a foot or so more than they did on Wednesday. We'll see.

0815: Scorchio at Centurion, no two ways about it. If there's any clouds up there, they're shy and retiring. Track looks like one to bat on all day, although the bumps and cracks look ominous for days four and five.

0810: Scorchio at Centurion, no two ways about it. If there's any clouds up there, they're shy and retiring. Track looks like one to bat on all day, although the bumps and cracks look ominous for days four and five.

0800: Start to the day: tried to balance three cups of tea in one hand with two slices of toast and a bowl of porridge in the other and then walk at pace to computer. Now have a wet trouser leg, a burnt hand and two fewer teas. Inauspicious.

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Live Scores - South Africa v England


  • South Africa drew with England
  • South Africa: 418 & 301-7 (85.5 overs)
  • England: 356 & 228-9 (96.0 overs)

England 2nd Innings

Player outReason Bowledby Runs
Total for 9 228
Strauss c Boucher b Morkel 1
Cook c Smith b Harris 12
Anderson c Boucher b de Wet 10
Trott c de Villiers b de Wet 69
Pietersen run out 81
Collingwood not out 26
Bell c Boucher b de Wet 2
Prior c Boucher b de Wet 0
Broad c Boucher b Harris 0
Swann lbw b Morkel 2
Onions not out 1
Extras 11nb 10b 3lb 24

see also
Jonathan Agnew column
16 Dec 09 |  England
Swann defends England referrals
16 Dec 09 |  England
Kallis century frustrates England
16 Dec 09 |  England
SA v England: 1st Test day one photos
16 Dec 09 |  Cricket
England's last tour of South Africa
15 Dec 09 |  England
Sidebottom shines in England draw
12 Dec 09 |  England
Harris aiming to put England in a spin
11 Dec 09 |  South Africa
Swann hits top form for England
10 Dec 09 |  England
Rain hands England one-day series
04 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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