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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Sunday, 3 January 2010

South Africa v England third Test Day 1 as it happened

LIVE TEXT COMMENTARY (all times GMT)

To get involved e-mail tms@bbc.co.uk (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

STUMPS

1548: Could be wrong, but I think that'll be it for the day. Funny old ding-donger - England on top for large chunks, but Jacques Kallis's characteristic obduracy has hauled the hosts right back into it. Early start mooted for Monday - it'll be Benjamin Dirs with you then. Enjoy!

1546: SA 279-6
Bad light stops play

Conflab between the two umpires, and that bouncer from Onions won't have helped England's cause. Yup - light offered to the batsmen, and they'll take that.


From Jonathan Turner, TMS inbox: "Am writing an essay on criminal law that has to be finished by tomorrow and find myself, in discussing the mens rea for murder, typing "wicket reckless" rather than "wicked recklessness". I chuckle to myself, look up and find that the Criminal Law Commissioner and erstwhile Reader in Criminal Law at Worcester College Oxford, Jeremy Horder, is sending puns to the TMS inbox! What is going on?"

1542: SA 279-6
Anderson strays repeatedly onto the pads, and there's runs there for both this pair. Partnership to 63, and that has to hurt England - they had South Africa at 127-5, but the hosts have wriggled off the hook.

1537: SA 275-6
Glimpse of England bowling coach Ottis Gibson, sitting on the dock of the, erm, balcony, looking a touch glum. Not your fault about the dropped catches, Ottis. A little wide from Graham Onions, and the Durham toiler grimaces up at the slopes of Table Mountain.

1532: SA 272-6
New ball! James Anderson to take it, with only two men in for Steyn. Nope - they're sticking another man in, Swann coming across from square leg. Ooof - absolute jaffa from Anderson, and that might have beaten more than one of the chaps on the list down below. Thick edge off the next one - four to third man. Edge off the next one - oh, Trott gets his hand to it, going full length, but he can't make it stick. Closer than close, as Rosie Gaines once sang.

1529: SA 266-6
Kallis goes to fifth on the list of all-time Test centurions with this knock, creeping past Tugga Waugh. The men above him in that list? Tendulkar, Ponting, Gavaskar, Lara, in first to fourth places.

From Jeremy Horder, TMS inbox: "Do we have a bowler called 'Persil?' He might be able to get that Steyn out."

1524: SA 260-6
He's reached 100

16,800 at Newlands today, we're told - decent. Kallis waits with monk-like patience for a loose one and smashes a full-bunger through extra cover for four - that's his century, his 33rd in Tests and 7th against England, and a priceless knock for his side as ever. Hats orf, Shark - hats orf.

1520: SA 254-6
Four overs until the new ball, 13 in the day - short from KP, pulled with alacrity by Steyn for a muscled four through midwicket. Making it look easy, the swinger.

1519: SA 249-6
Slip and forward short leg in Kallis as Swann skips in - singles every time to leg, and Kallis is kruising.


1517: SA 246-6
The light closing in now, and the towering floodlights are on. KP it is, his hair squashed into a 1940s side-parting slicker by all-day use of the cap. Single here and there, and England might struggle to unleash the quicks with the cherry unless it brightens up a touch.

1514: SA 244-6
Swann throws himself full-length to his right, but he can't prevent the drive going down the ground for successive singles. Hello - are we having some KP off-tweak?

1510: SA 241-6
Steyn, face contorted like a man with week-long constipation, waits for the flailing Broad - one off the pads, and another from Kallis to steal the strike. England sometimes looking a little toothless out there - a fair amount of debate about what a par score should be in this track, with the mean sitting around the 300 mark. Interesting.

1506: SA 239-6
Swann will go again post-beverages. Steyn flicks ostentatiously off the hip for one, Kallis angles one off the pads for one more. Eight overs until the new ball, and with the clouds gathering again over the teetering bulk of Table Mountain, there's a chance the cherry could sing like a canary.

1502: SA 237-6
Broad, tall and long-limbed, a slight look of stroppy consternation of his features - single stolen by the rock-solid Kallis, and then Steyn defends doughtily. Single nicked off the last ball of the over, and that's drinks.

From Ged, TMS inbox: "Three Brits and a Saffer stuck at the freezing airport (-16C) in Lithuania following this on a rapidly dying Blackberry, come on lads get Kallis before the battery gives up!"

1456: SA 235-6
Strauss will stick another man in the slips now after that last-over escape - Steyn inside-edges into his front pad as Anderson breezes in. 21 overs left in this see-saw day. Lovely late in-dipper, but the wide-eyed Steyn gets the toe-end on it and the ball squirts away into the leg-side.

1452: SA 233-6
Broad, fired up, but that's too short - cut away by Kallis, then pulled fine off the bottom edge for for more. The match has suddenly accelerated after that doldrum-patch post-tea. 84 off 153 balls for Shark, closing in on his 33rd Test ton. Extraordinary numbers.

From Ken Williams, TMS inbox: "I'm sure that Norman Stanley Fletcher, with Mr. Barrowclough's unknowing assistance, would have found a way by now to squirm his way out of Slade Prison for a few days compassionate leave, and be sitting comfortably in Cape Town watching the cricket, and cheering on any South African wicket that falls."

1448: SA 225-6
Big old sing-song in progress from the Army of Barmy - there's a sudden sniff of further wickets in the air here. Kallis angles an in-dipper from Anderson away through the fourth slip for three after Steyn edges along the ground where a third slip might have been. Should have been?

1443: SA 217-6
Hello - looks like it's Dale Steyn coming in up the order, promoted ahead of Morne Morkel and Paul Harris on the basis of his derring-do in the last Test, you'd assume. England needed that one badly - that last partnership was worth 89 big runs. Each side down to a referral apiece now.

1440: WICKET Boucher lbw Broad 51, SA 216-6
Wicket falls
Referral - out

Broad, red-faced, perspiring - in-jagger, Boucher plays all round it - Umpire Tony Hill raises his finger! Boucher will refer it, but that hit him on the knee-roll of the back pad - you're on your way, Poucher...

1437: SA 216-5
That's 50

Anderson now, seeking reverse-swing with 15 overs to go until the cherry. Short, toe-ended away by Boucher for the two that takes him to his 31st Test half-century. Super knock - came in with his side in a spicy old pickle, and together with Kallis he's dragged them right back into it.

1433: SA 213-5
Yup - Broad it is, but there's a mere single slip in for him, a widish one attempting to cover all bases. Lovely line from the first three, the same sort of on-off, slight in-dip that sort off the big unit at Kingsmead earlier in the week, and Kallis is kontent to see off the maiden.

1429: SA 213-5
Tighter line from Onions, cutting back on the help-yourselfers. Ccould be time for a change at the other end - Broad for Swannage?

1425: SA 212-5
Barmy Army in raucous voice as the local brewery's product starts to kick in. Boucher gambles with a late cut against Swann's off-spinner, splicing it away past the scrambling backward point for two. Single left, single right, and the partnership to 85. Strauss scratches his chin, and you can't blame him.

From Chris Harrison, TMS inbox: "To Mr Barrowclough. Your surname makes me think that's Slade Prison from 'Porridge' you're currently sitting (working) in. If so, please give my best wishes for the festive season to Fletcher, Godber, Mr. Mackay and all the gang."

1421: SA 207-5
I'll try something different, thinks Onions, and serves up three bouncers in a row - the first two left alone by a koncentrating Kallis, the third heave-hoed at and top-edged over the keeper for two. Short and wide again, slashed off the back peg for four more. Kallis to 72.

1416: SA 200-5
Strange little period for England, this - they're on top, but Kallis and his old pal Boucher are starting to enjoy themselves. Nice shot in the crowd of a man in a half-watermelon helmet, this time with grille attached for added authenticity. 200 up with a tickle behind square off the pads.

1412: SA 199-5
Too short from Onions, and Shark is on that in a flash - swivel-pull, three to deep midwicket as Cook makes a fine sliding save. That's better - late in-jagger that Boucher does well to shovel off the pads. Occasionally keeping low from the Wynberg End, but few other scares for this well-set combo since the sandwiches.

1409: SA 194-5
Kallis in the komfort zone against Swann here, pushing an easy one every time to leg. At what point in this partnership will England become perturbed?

1405: SA 192-5
Graham Onions, 1-27 from his 13 so far - short, edged away through fourth slip for four by the salivating Boucher. Cheeky single into the covers, and then Kallis steps back to mash another short one back down the ground on the short-armed pull. Partnership to 65.

From Mr Barrowclough, TMS inbox: "sitting here (working) in one of London's finest prisons and keeping an eye on the cricket. As a lapsed Leeds fan, I'd like to say "thanks" for keeping me updated with the footy. It was strange to hear the inmates banging on the cell doors when Leeds scored and even stranger were the shouts of 'come on Leeds'!"

1359:
Do me a favour and manually refresh, would you? Otherwise you'll be confusing your Fletchdyces with your Forders, and no-one wants to see that.

By Paul Fletcher

1357:
Just a couple of minutes or so until play is scheduled to resume. I can only assume that Tom Fordyce has more or less wrapped up his gym routine and is on his way back to the office toute suite, as Del Boy might have said.

1354:
For those with an interest in such matters, Leeds are beating Manchester United 1-0 at half-time at Old Trafford.

BBC Sport
Dyrewolf on 606: "This looks ominous - the Saffers have suddenly decided to get on with it... at least Boucher has"

1352:
Middlesex skipper Shaun Udal is on TMS at the moment. He has just made it crystal clear that he would be very interested in signing South Africa bowler Makhaya Ntini - if he makes himself available as a Kolpak. That, of course, would require Ntini, dropped for this Test, to retire from international cricket. The plot thickens..

1347:
Without question, England feel pretty happy as they have a brief rest and the chance to freshen up before the final session. The wicket of Graeme Smith in the second over of the session was crucial, while Swann has clearly atoned for his butter fingers drop of Smithy earlier in the day with his two-in-two action.

1341: SA 183-5
Last over before tea sees Kallis take a single and leave Boucher to face a stern examination of his technique. Anderson is reversing the ball and beats Boucher's outside edge and turns him square but the keeper survives and tucks the final ball away for a single before tea. England, with three wickets, have definitely had the better of the mammoth session between lunch and tea.

1338: SA 181-5
Pantomime boos all round as KP is brought into the attack. No surprise wicket here as they milk him for four runs - still there is at least time for one more Anderson over before tea.

1335: SA 177-5
Anderson is definitely reversing the ball with assistance from the Cape Town breeze. The Shark takes a single and Boucher is then almost undone by a delivery that jags back very late - though they run two leg byes. Height is the problem but that ball is definitely moving around and Boucher is beaten all ends up with the next one. The SA keeper takes a single off the final delivery.

1331: SA 173-5
The noise around the bat continues and you really get a sense of how England have grasped the importance of another wicket before tea. Just a single off Swann, who has 2-55.

1329: SA 171-5
Anderson continues and, after Kallis takes a single, England appeal for lbw against Boucher but the ball is comfortably slipping down and they run a leg bye. Lots of encouragement from the slips as England push for another breakthrough before tea, which will be taken at 1340 GMT, but Kallis looks dead set.

1326: Meanwhile, in another continent nearer to home, Leeds United have taken an early lead at Old Trafford in the FA Cup, despite being two divisions below Manchester United. Jonathan Stevenson is doing our text commentary for that and the later kick-offs.

That's 50
1325: SA 169-5
Local lad Kallis strokes a fullish one from Swann to long on for his 53rd Test fifty. Boucher celebrates the feat by cutting Swann to the ropes and then driving a full toss for another boundary. Boucher then creams his third successive four with a sumptuous drive before leaving the final delivery. Just the 13 off the over.

1321: SA 156-5
The Burnley Express is back - and Anderson finds reverse swing straight away. Anderson strays down leg and is duly punished by the doughty and, depending on your perspective, at times irritating Boucher.

From Aaron, medical student, London, via text on 81111: "Argh Swann! Loving and hating you right now! Was just about to convince myself to turn the tv off and start some much needed neurology revision, but then he goes and takes two wickets and I'm hooked on this again!"

1318: SA 152-5
Kallis tucks Swann off his legs - two would bring up his fifty but he settles for a single. Boucher runs the ball off the face for a single to end another probing over from England spinner.

1315: SA 150-5
Kallis really is something of an immoveable object, at least when he is not shouldering arms. He works Broad for a single. The bowler looks to remove Boucher with a yorker - the ball slightly reversing - but the batsman stabs it off his legs for a couple. Lovely afternoon now in Cape Town. Sun shining and England pushing hard for another wicket.

1311: SA 147-5
I was wondering whether 20-10 would not be Swann's year but he is firmly up and running now. Boucher plays and misses with an attempted cut and then with a forward defensive. Enough, says the nuggety keeper, who creams the final ball to the ropes on the onside.

1307: SA 143-5
You kind people need to manual refresh to fully understand that it is no longer Tom typing. He is in the gym. Glad that is cleared up. Broady continues and asks a few questions of the man who I believe Tom calls the Shark with one that rears up off just short of a length. Kallis is up to the task and works the ball away for a single - the only score of the over (except, that is, for a quick single taken by Boucher).

By Tom Fordyce

1302: SA 141-5
One more over for me before I hand the steaming keyboard to Paul Fletcher - do the business, Swanny... Turned off the pads by Kallis for two as Broad races round from long leg, and an absolute repeater for two more.

1259: SA 136-5
Broad, two slips in, gully, point, cover, midwicket and mid-offs and on - right through Boucher's defence, to wails from Prior behind the timbers. Too wide, left alone; over-done onto leg stump, turned away through midwicket for the easiest of fours. Touch sloppy, you might say.

1255: SA 131-5
2-29 from his nine overs so far for Swann, twirling in his happy rhythm now. Umpire Harper watches on, eerily reminiscent of Clive Woodward - maiden again, as Boucher jabs down off front and back to keep the rampant tweaker at bay.

From Mark Tate, TMS inbox: "Couple of nicknames I'm currently using for the two SA constant failures in this series: 'The Batsman Formerly Known as Prince' and 'Crash Test Duminy'."

1249: SA 131-5
Picture-perfect at Newlands, the sun sharp, the lager-beers crisp, the bikinis beguiling. Broad in at pace - Shark Kallis the kalmest man out there, seeing off the maiden, unflappable like a steel spinnaker.

From Matthew Sharples, TMS inbox: "Did my ears just deceive me? Was that Prior shouting 'Nice Swannatron, come on the machine!' Am I missing something here?"

1245: SA 127-5
Swann on a hat-trick now - let's see how Boucher deals with it - oof, prodded away off the pads. Rewind, selector, take it back to the top - Duminy was foxed completely in the flight, had a prod forward and could only stare back in horror as Prior's gloves closed around the snicker. Swanny's the breakthrough boy again...

1243: WICKET Duminy c Prior b Swann 0, SA 127-5
Wicket falls
Out for a duck

The trap was set there for De Villiers - it was the same ba - DUMINY'S GONE FOR A GOLDEN!

1240: WICKET De Villiers c Strauss b Swann 36, SA 127-4
Wicket falls

Swann again - chipped to short midwicket - bagged!

1238: SA 127-3
Rocky theme tune trumpeted by the Barmy bugler as Stuart Broad gets the nod to replace Onions. Nice line just outside off, and Kallis is playing a fair few balls with his bottom hand off the handle - took a blow on a finger before lunch, and it might still be bothering him.

1235: SA 127-3
Singles singles singles as Swann is forced to vary his length at the batsmen's whim. That's too short, and AB steps back and across to pull through midwicket for the four that takes him to 36.

From Adam, TMS inbox: "i am not sure with whom i am more mad - the authorities for not including snicko and hotspot as support for the 3rd umpire or the players for not walking - if you hit it, you're out - walk ! might as well bite a blood tablet as the end of the 5th day or push the guy out of his crease if that's the way we're going."

1232: SA 119-3
Onions could be coming towards the end of his spell here. There's occasional keep-low from the track, but the Shark-AB combo is looking unlikely to be flapped. 80 minutes since the last wicket. I'll say no more.

1227: SA 117-3
Short leg and short midwicket wait as Swann continues round the wicket. Faster and flatter, but there's too much angle on that - cut away with stylish slap by the reprieved AB for four to the backward point fence.

From James from a still very snowy Leeds, TMS inbox: "Me again. Cobblers, absolutely cobblers! How much do these hotspot cameras cost? If I win the lottery I am gonna buy one, and donate it the TV company broadcasting."

1221: SA 107-3
Swann now - drifter, some sort of noise, huge appeal - is that out? Prior and Swann are convinced, Colly absolutely certain... but Daryl Harper says no! They won't refer this one, not after the not-given edge against Amla, but let's have a look.... Lord alive, clear edge. De Villiers knew it too. Harper you cl - hold on a second, was he stumped there too? Prior had the bails off, and it looks like AB's toe lifted out of the crease as he did so. In conclusion, de Villiers was out TWICE that ball, and yet he's still in. Discuss.

1217: SA 104-3
Decent over again from Onions, but he's a fraction too short, and De Villiers can leave those on length. One jags back in, but the rest are leave-alones - slightly worrying signs for Strauss's men, the sun beating down, pitch calming, crowd pickling quietly.

1213: SA 104-3
Fourth over from Swanny without his customary early wicket, and he'll switch to round the wicket in search of some bite - treated with caution by the South African pair as the partnership creeps up to 53.

1209: SA 102-3
Liam Plunkett down there on the fence, perched on a white plastic garden chair and talking to someone on a small walkie-talkie. Maybe he picked up a pair for Christmas. What a gift. Onions now, tending a lovely line, and Kallis is forced to jab down sharpish on some cunning in-cutters.

1205: SA 101-3
Slower and loopier from Swann, tempting De Villiers to plop forward - dragged away through the leg-side with bottom hand dominant for the single that brings up South Africa's century.

1200: SA 99-3
Graham Onions for his first sizzle post-lunch - the juiciest of half-volleys on leg, crashed away happily by Kallis to move to a threatening 26. Touch short, this time - dug in, and ABdV punches away towards Colly at mid-off for another single. Drinks, and with them the news that this session has been extended to two and a half hours to make up for the earlier sogginess delays.

From Luc, TMS inbox: "I fully endorse the principle of the 'reverse mockers' but I respectfully suggest you are using the incorrect term. The science of this phenomenon was extensively investigated by my university housemates and I in 1991. At that time it was correctly termed the 'reverse Murray' - inspired by the confident but often wrong proclamations of the F1 babbler."

1156: SA 93-3
Looks like Kallis will try to dominate Swanny here, not let him settle - at the moment Strauss has KP at mid-on, but Kallis wants to force him back so he can steal singles and relieve the Swanpressure. He settles for occasionals rather than big biffs for the time being, but there's menacing intent in the air.

1152: SA 91-3
Klass from Kallis, rocking back onto his rear leg to cut Anderson through backward point for a morale-sapping four. Couple of wispy clouds overhead, but no more.

From Alan in Edinburgh, TMS inbox: "'Mockers' isn't in the Merrian-Webster online dictionary. It suggests I try 'knickers' . I'm now confused, especially at your suggestion of putting the reverse mockers on."

1149: SA 85-3
Yikes - cunning dipper from Swann, chipped uppishly towards the short, straightish midwicket but finding the fielder on the bounce. Gutsy pre-mediated sweep from ABdV for one down to long leg, and then Kallis smothers the remainder with redoubtable resolve.

1146: SA 83-3
Oh yes - now it's De Villiers' turn to unfurl a beauty, keeping that front elbow high as he drives dreamily past extra cover for his first authentic boundary. Jimmy not happy with that one - over-pitched, and he grimaces in self-admonishing fashion. Looks like Graeme Swann will have a twirl - Colly going in at slip now, and will we have the usual first-over strike?

1142: SA 76-3
Shot from Kallis, shifting his substantial weight forward perfectly to drive between non-striker's stumps and mid-on for a textbook four back down the ground. Broad stands mid-pitch, hands on hips, sweating with powerless perspiration.

1137: SA 70-3
Streaky from Kallis now, fencing at Jimmy's spitter and edging away past the turning gully for four more. Another short one dies and goes through to Prior on the half-volley - looks a little two-paced at times, this Newlands track. Lovely day to watch cricket now, the tablecloth easing away from Table Mountain, trees full of leaf all around the boundary, cool lager-beers being poured.

1133: SA 65-3
Broad at pace to De Villiers - slashing edge - oh, just over Swann's stretching fingers at second slip. That'll race away for four. I'd say there's another wicket on here, but the reverse-reverse-mockers is too much of a danger.

1129: SA 61-3
Now then - can England winkle out another before the sun bakes away the final droplets of moisture? Shark shoulders arms to a lifter and then ducks under a boomer so bouncy it's called a wide. Cloud almost entirely gone overhead now, and three long-limbed ladies smear sun-cream over exposed areas.

1125: SA 59-3
Broad is eyes-popping-out to get at AB here - short, lifting, jabbed down through the gap between gully and third slip for a three that's saved from a four by a fine sliding save from the sprinting Strauss. Nope, sloppy - half-volley to Kallis, and Shark will feast on those all day long, crashing it past the motionless KP at cover for his first four.

1120: SA 52-3
150th Test wicket for Jimmy, and what a one to steal - Skipper Smith, let-off on one, looking set for a match-deciding knockeroo, drawn into a fatal push outside off and thinning through to a screaming stumper. England are delighted - the perfect start to their afternoon, and it nearly gets better as new-man AB de Villiers calls Kallis through for a rapid single that the big unit labours over and almost fails to make his ground.

1116: WICKET Smith c Prior b Anderson 30, SA 51-3
Wicket falls

All hail the reverse-mockers pt II! Hail them!

If you want to see Oliver Brett's list of six cricketers to follow in 2010 on the Test Match Special blog, and give him some stick about his selection, then please feel free to do so. He relishes that sort of thing.

1114: SA 51-2
Don't want to ruin your Sunday morning, but the luncheon interval at Newlands has seen significant sun and clearing up of clouds. Batting conditions now a whole heap easier than they were at the toss - he says, without any hint of the reverse-mockers. Kallis, blinking menacingly back down the track - oh, good line from Stuart Broad, testing and teasing outside off. Lifter to follow, and Kallis krouches. Decent start.


From Mike in Torbay, TMS inbox: "Finally England have provided something to raise my spirits as I sit next to my hospital bed recovering from mild pneumonia having been here over New Year. Circumstances which were worsened by fact the doctor decided I had Swine Flu and stuck me in isolation with no tv, radio or other form of brain stimulation. Torn now between staying to follow the Test here or going home to the wife and kids."

From Paul in Lancs, TMS inbox: "I imagine poor Graeme Swann, standing forlorn in the slip cordon, must now be feeling quite like the young narrator felt in Proust's (appropriately titled) Swann's way, when he realises quite suddenly that his earlier pretensions to greatness are without a foundation of requisite fielding talent: 'The regret that I felt for this, while I lingered alone to dream for a little by myself, made me suffer so acutely that, in order not to feel it, my mind of its own accord, by a sort of inhibition in the instant of pain, ceased entirely to think of verse-making, of fiction, of the poetic future on which my want of talent precluded me from counting.' Blimey, Swanny may even have to give up Twitter."

1031: LUNCH SA 51-2
Onions goes seeking - Smith, crabby and cautious, watched with unblinking calm by Kallis at the non-striker's. Three angled across, then tickled singles apiece. Last ball before lunch, three slips wait - left aone by Smith, and that's lunch. The even of stevens, I'd say - and Swanny's spill of Smith feels even more horribly important than it did an hour ago...

1024: SA 47-2
Full-throated roars and applause from around the England field as Broad sprints in to new-man Jacques Kallis, the man he embarrassed at Durban. Still averaging 50 in the series, the big unit - rock-solid forward defensive, Broad searching for the full fast stump-rattler. We'll have at least one more over before lunch - can another limpet be prised from the hull?

1020: SA 46-2
Full ball, Amla playing all round his front pads, and that was plumb as plumb can be. Might have to amend the scorecard to lbw Fordions or Onidyce. Sorry, Hashim. Honestly I am. What? I'm not smiling. I'm grimacing. Seriously.

1019: WICKET Amla lbw Onions 14, SA 46-2
Wicket falls

All hail the reverse-mockers!

From Chris Weston, TMS inbox: "What's Graeme Swann done this year? Drop a catch and nothing else. Waste of space."

1015: SA 45-1
Broad seems to have been rattled off his line by that dubious referral - shovelled away to leg by Smith for two, and then a drive through the covers for three more as the bowler over-corrects. 15 minutes to lunch, and batting starting to look ominously easier.

1011: SA 40-1
Graham Onions again - whooah, full toss outside off, crashed away through the covers by Smith for a muscular four. Runs starting to flow...


From James in snowy Leeds, TMS inbox: "This referral systems is just cobblers without either Snicko or hotspot. Surely with either Amla was gone, makes a complete mockery of what is generally a good idea."

1006: SA 35-1
Broad again, dander up - fraction over-pitched, and Amla seizes on that gratefully to drill a driven four past Bell at point for his second four of the day. Shorter morning session today, I'm hearing - a mere hour and a half. Strauss really would have wanted three back in the hutch after sticking South Africa in under these conditions. Hmm.

1002: SA 29-1
Here comes Onions, scampering, shirt tugged in his slipstream - that's full and in-swingy, Smith misses - has he gone? Umpire Tony Hill turns down the lbw after an age, and will England refer this one too? They think about it, but Strauss eventually says no - possibly just going over the top, that one. Real sense of injustice still burning bright in Broad's breast.

0957: SA 29-1
Referral - not out

"NICE BROADY!" yells Matt Prior, as the blond destroyer of Durban canters in. Noise, huge appeal - is Amla gone? Umpire Daryl Harper says no, but England are certain - they'll refer this one. Let's have a look - bat nowhere near body nor ground, certain sound - but there's no Snicko in this series, and the cautious third umpire Aleem Dar backs up his on-field colleague. Broad is fuming, and rightly so - looks to me that Harper made the wrong decision initially, and even then that was the sort of decision that Umpire Steve Davis gave on referral at Kingsmead.

0953: SA 29-1
Anderson, refreshed by the beverages, tears in - ooh, two loose drives from Amla, edging on the bounce to KP at gully. Amla's bat coming down at a strange angle, across from first slip towards mid-on, and they're sniffing a snag in the slips here.

0946: SA 28-1
Yup, Onions gets the heave-ho - we'll have some Stuart Broad, 45 minutes into the morning session. Smashing line from the off, tucking Smith up, going across and then coming back in a - ach, how did that miss? Right through the gate, seeming to pass clean through the off-peg. Super maiden over, and they'll take drinks.

From Simon T-W, TMS inbox: "I just sniff Amla/Smith to be there at Lunch. Onions unlucky as always. Anderson won't be able to get it to swing away from line of off stump."

0942: SA 28-1
Not there, Jimmy - short, onto Amla's hip, and the bearded batsman will flick those away all day long - four through square leg. Lots more blue sky up ahead now, and worries spread like wildfire that England's window of opportunity is shrinking fast.

0938: SA 24-1
Onions not quite been at his best this morning - it might be a slightly wet ball, or the dampness underfoot, but he's either dropping short enough that the batsmen can leave alone or adjust, or he's over-compensating with a pusher down leg side. Four leg byes as Amla gets his front stick in the way.

0934: SA 19-1
Anderson skates in to Smith. Grim determination etched into the skipper's face - lovely line from Jim, angling across, and Smith does well to leave on length. Oh, that's a beauty - a touch fuller to draw the shot, getting a fraction of jag off the track to sizzle past the outside edge. Howls from the slip cordon.

0931: SA 19-1
Nice from Smith, stepping across to slap-cut Onions backward of point for three as KP gives chance. Slow old outfield with the early-morning moisture. The three slips wait in identikit fashion, hands on knees, blue caps pulled low - tight and bright line, on off and just outside, and Amla defends with resolution.

0926: SA 16-1
Hello - first no-ball of the series from England, remarkably - Jimmy over-stepping by a fraction. Bit of movement there, and Amla lifts his blade high out of harm's way. Short midwicket in for the batsman, but that's going the other way - oof, just past Pietersen tumbling to his left at gully. Michael Vaughan on TMS claims he's sharing a hotel with Cheryl Cole. Maybe she's down here to support the Geordie boys. Although Colly's a Mackem, no?

0921: SA 13-1
Onions again, coming in again at pace - shortish, nasty, leaping up into Smith's gut. Nasty. 88% humidity out there at the moment - no swing on that one, though, watched by Smith onto the bat and away to normal square leg. Drive for two through cover - England won't mind him playing those shots. Few demons in the track in that over either. Hmmm.

From Rachel Tyrrell, TMS inbox: "Re: Swanny's dropped catch - can't we have a referral and say that if Colly had been there he would DEFINITELY have caught it?"

0916: SA 11-1
Patches of blue sky appearing overhead. This cloud will burn off at some point - can England make sufficient hay while the sun doesn't shine? Anderson now to Amla - nice length, jabbed into the covers for a single. Smith, his vast bulk accentuated by his baggy cream jumper, shuffles across his stumps to push another through midwicket. No swing at all in that over. Gulp.

0911: SA 9-1
Here's Graham Onions, racing in to Smith - edged - DROPPED! It's Graeme Swann in at second slip, Colly out in the deep with his strapped-up finger, and he had to take that - right into the hands, barely had to move, and he's stuck it down. I feel a bit sick. Onions drops short and Smith swivels to smash it away through midwicket for four. Next ball - same again, same treatment. What a chance...

0906: SA 1-1
Brutal delivery, angled across, darting up and away and just brushing the gloves on the way through to the stumper. The perfect start for England - Amla trudges in, dampness in the air, and Newlands is alive.

0902: WICKET Prince c Prior b Anderson 0, SA 1-1
Wicket falls

Here come the England players, charging down the pavilion steps - Colly in there, clapping his hands like a man unafraid of further dislocation. James Anderson to open out - three slips, gully, short square leg - no no, full on leg stump, turned away by Graeme Smith for a single behind square. Prince now, on a dreadful trot - oof, almost gone first ball. Anderson turns again - lift, movement - WAAAGHH!

0855: Decent crowd in at Newlands, with a sizeable slice supporting the tourists. Real buzz around the stands - they know this could a defining session in the series. Sizzling sunshine forecast for days two to five, so it's wickets or bust for England today. All set?

From Paul Worsley, TMS inbox: "Is this de-ja-vu..... SCG this morning, green top, rain around, covers on, delayed toss.... STICK EM IN!!! Punter and his Aussies had a bat and got skittled in two sessions."

0852: Just had a glance at the pitch. In a word, green. The groundsman said he'd have bowled, had he been Strauss. Could be interesting, these first few hours...

0848: This from Graeme Smith: "Everyone's prepared well for this Test. We play well here. Friedel gets an opportunity - hopefully he can build on what he did in Pretoria. We haven't played to the potential we're capable of - hopefully we can get a good start."

0845: Andrew Strauss calls heads - it is heads - and England will bowl. "Good overcast conditions," he says. "It's a great opportunity for us. It's meant to be cloudy most of the day and it was swinging nicely in the warm-ups."

0843: Here come skippers Smith and Strauss - we'll toss shortly.

0830: Hold on - what's that? Toss at 0845? If it doesn't rain again?

0822: Uh-oh - is that a little more heavy mist in the air? End of delay has been delayed, I fear.

0818: Former England coach Duncan Fletcher, who is currently helping the South African side, has joined the Test Match Special team for this Test. He's alongside his old skipper Michael Vaughan in the commentary box. I'll keep you posted.

0808: At the mo, however, there's a light mist hanging round Newlands - the covers are coming off, but a little late. Delayed toss, and almost certainly a slight delay to the start. Overcast conditions, touch of green in the pitch - is it a day for sticking the oppo in?

0805: We also think that El Gingero Collingo will be passed fit. Not yet sure if he'll be fielding at slip to the quicks, but he batted at full whack in the nets on Saturday.

0800: News aplenty from Cape Town - no teams through yet, but red-hot rumours that Makhaya Ntini has been dropped. If he has been, it looks like Friedel de Wet will come in, and that Ntini will announce his international retirement and sign for Middlesex as a Kolpak player.

0750: Heart-rending drama. The favourite beaten. The plucky outsider coming from nowhere to claim the title, after a brutal test of fitness and skill. Still - enough of Danielle Lloyd's defeat of Sally Gunnell and Dom Littlewood in last night's Celebrity Total Wipeout - there's some cricket to be watched...



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Live Scores - South Africa v England

 

  • South Africa drew with England
  • South Africa: 291 & 447-7 (111.2 overs)
  • England: 273 & 296-9 (141.0 overs)

England 2nd Innings

Close
Player outReason Bowledby Runs
Total for 9 296
Strauss c Amla b Harris 45
Cook c Boucher b de Wet 55
Trott b Steyn 42
Pietersen lbw b Steyn 6
Anderson c Prince b Harris 9
Collingwood c Kallis b Duminy 40
Bell c Smith b Morkel 78
Prior c de Villiers b Duminy 4
Broad c de Villiers b Harris 0
Swann not out 10
Onions not out 0
Extras 1nb 1w 1b 4lb 7

see also
Kallis century holds up England
03 Jan 10 |  England
South Africa v England day one photos
03 Jan 10 |  England
Middlesex hopeful of Ntini deal
03 Jan 10 |  Middlesex
Jonathan Agnew column
02 Jan 10 |  England
Michael Vaughan Q&A
31 Dec 09 |  Cricket
England call on Carberry as cover
30 Dec 09 |  England
Swann's haul crowns 'dream' year
30 Dec 09 |  England
England wrap up emphatic Test win
30 Dec 09 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England


related bbc links:

related internet links:
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FROM OTHER SPORT SITES
Liverpool Echo Rain delay for England - 4 hrs ago
Cricket365.com Third Test preview - SA v England - 26 hrs ago
Sky Sports Athers' Top 10 - 46 hrs ago
Metro.co.uk England see off South Africa in style - 30 Dec 2009


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