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Last Updated: Sunday, 26 December, 2004, 16:06 GMT
South Africa dominate opening day
Second Test, Durban, day one (close):
England: 139 v South Africa 70-3
Nicky Boje and AB de Villiers
Boje captured key man Andrew Strauss in his first over

South Africa closed day one of the second Test in Durban on 70-3, 69 runs behind England's paltry 139.

Once Marcus Trescothick fell for 18 in the 10th over, England quickly subsided as Shaun Pollock captured 4-32.

Andrew Strauss top-scored with 25 but was out just before lunch, and then four fell in 11 overs after the break.

England removed both openers cheaply and had another boost very late in the day when Jacques Rudolph departed to Steve Harmison, who returned 2-20.

The South Africans signalled their intentions with positive team selection, making four changes from the first Test and using AB de Villiers as a wicket-keeper.

Herschelle Gibbs returned to bolster their batting, Nicky Boje provided a spin option, and Hashim Amla and Martin van Jaarsveld earned recalls.

The pace seemed to vary a lot and the bounce was inconsistent
England coach Duncan Fletcher

Michael Vaughan again called incorrectly and Graeme Smith had little hesitation asking England to bat, with heavy overnight rain thought likely to liven up the surface.

England made a sound start, Trescothick looking in positive touch with a push down the ground for three in the first over.

He took the majority of the bowling from Makhaya Ntini, while Andrew Strauss waited patiently for a loose one from Pollock, who bowled five straight maidens after his first over.

Strauss took 26 balls to get off the mark, by which time Trescothick had hit three fours and made 18.

But Trescothick got an inside edge to Ntini and De Villiers took a spectacular one-handed catch to his right, having initially been wrong footed.

Mark Butcher never looked in form during his 35 minutes at the crease and for the third time in succession fell in ungainly fashion as he chopped Dale Steyn onto his stumps.

Shaun Pollock
Pollock's accuracy and variation dominated England

Boje was introduced in the 25th over and produced immediate results.

With his third ball he found the edge of Michael Vaughan's bat, which De Villiers spilled, but the single allowed Strauss the strike.

Having begun to find his touch, Strauss mis-timed a drive and looped one to wide mid-off where Ntini swooped low to dismiss him for 25.

Things went from bad to worse for England after lunch.

Graham Thorpe made only a single before Pollock trapped him bang in front.

Flintoff chose the 12th ball of his innings to take on the hook, but extra pace from Pollock defeated him and the ball caught the splice.

Vaughan had spent a watchful 80 minutes at the crease for his 18, but a skidding ball from Ntini rattled onto his pads to make it 80-6.

Geraint Jones attempted to hook his team out of trouble, launching a series of attacking blows with mixed success.

He got off the mark with a six off Pollock and added three fours before he fell for 24, lofting Ntini straight to Jacques Rudolph at deep mid-wicket.

Simon Jones hit a glorious straight six plus three fours in 21 from 14 balls, but Pollock bamboozled him with a slower ball and quickly wrapped up the innings.

Steve Harmison soon cranked up to 90mph as England strived for a quick breakthrough.

Having sliced over the slips for four the ball before, Smith followed a wide one and Flintoff held on a shade akwardly at second slip.

Gibbs stroked one sumptuous cover-drive but on 15 he chose to leave one from Hoggard that nipped back and clipped the off bail.

England's bowlers stuck gainfully to their task, and as a parting shot Harmison forced Rudolph to fend off a short one and Graham Thorpe got his hand under the ball as it looped to the ground at short-leg.

It was a fine way for England to end the day, but their poor performance with the bat means they remain under the cosh.


South Africa: G C Smith, H H Gibbs, J H Kallis, J A Rudolph, M van Jaarsveld, H M Amla, A B de Villiers, S M Pollock, N Boje, D W Steyn, M Ntini.

England: M E Trescothick, A J Strauss, M A Butcher, M P Vaughan, G P Thorpe, A Flintoff, G O Jones, A F Giles, M J Hoggard, S P Jones, S J Harmison.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Report: BBC Five Live's Jonathan Agnew


Interview: England coach Duncan Fletcher



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