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Page last updated at 16:05 GMT, Saturday, 16 January 2010

England on course for heavy defeat in Johannesburg Test

Fourth Test, Johannesburg:
England 180 & 48-3 v South Africa 423-7 declared (day three, stumps)
Play resumes Sunday: 0800 GMT

Coverage: Test Match Special on BBC Radio Four Longwave, Radio 5 live sports extra, Red Button and BBC Sport website; text commentary online and on mobiles. Also live on Sky Sports
Match scorecard

Dale Steyn
Dale Steyn celebrates after taking the wicket of Jonathan Trott

By Oliver Brett

England looked set for a heavy defeat in the final Test at the Wanderers as they ended day three on 48-3, still trailing South Africa by 195 runs.

Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott both fell to the new ball and Andrew Strauss became Wayne Parnell's first Test victim before bad light halted play.

Earlier, Mark Boucher played brightly to make 95 from 119 balls before South Africa declared on 423-7.

He put on 120 with AB de Villiers (58) after South Africa resumed on 215-2.

And whereas England's bowlers have struggled throughout the match, and grown frustrated by perceived umpiring injustices, South Africa's opening pair of Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel once again looked dangerous from the word go.


Cook was unable to deal with a ball from Morkel that pitched in line with the stumps and seamed away and nicked an easy catch to Graeme Smith at first slip, departing with only a single to his name.

Trott, as he had done on the first morning, looked out of sorts and it was no surprise when he was taken by De Villiers at third slip as Steyn produced a superb outswinger bowled on a perfect line just outside off stump.

After a brief break for bad light, left-armer Parnell struck as Strauss, who had reached 22 despite some hostile treatment from the new-ball pair, was trapped lbw by a ball that nipped back a fraction.

By the close, it was easy to forget that England had enjoyed a fine start to the day, taking three quick wickets to leave South Africa on 235-5 before they once again had reason to be frustrated by the umpiring review system.

De Villiers and Boucher added a further 10 to that score, moving the overall lead to 62, when De Villiers, on 11, found himself on strike to Graeme Swann.

Mark Boucher
Boucher played some positive strokes in a fine innings of 95

The off-spinner had already turned his first delivery sharply to remove JP Duminy for seven, caught at slip, and in his second over De Villiers went for a sweep with England's appeal for a catch at leg-slip upheld by on-field umpire Tony Hill.

De Villiers asked for a review and Harper was satisfied he had enough evidence to overturn the decision, but later TV replays suggested possible contact with glove before it hit De Villiers' pad - and a deflection off the bat afterwards.

In view of how Harper had refused to end Smith's innings on Friday despite an audible nick - allowing the South Africa captain to add 90 runs to his score - it was a dispiriting moment for England.

De Villiers was again reprieved by Harper on an lbw appeal shortly afterwards, but this time the ball was clearing over the stumps and there could be few complaints, although luck remained on the batsman's side - the ball spun on to his stumps but rebounded without dislodging the bails.

Having begun in a hurry with the key wickets of Hashim Amla (75) and Jacques Kallis (7) - brilliant catches by Matt Prior and James Anderson rewarding Stuart Broad and Ryan Sidebottom respectively - England had fewer answers to De Villiers and Boucher.

The second new ball had no impact - although Anderson bowled one or two lovely outswingers which just evaded the outside edge.

AB de Villiers
De Villiers was twice given out, but won the referral each time

South Africa's lead went past 100 when a wild throw from Kevin Pietersen disappeared for four overthrows, and England only had themselves to blame when opting against reviewing an lbw appeal against the fast-scoring Boucher. This time it would have gone their way - and the batsman had only reached 33 at the time.

England now used up their final review on another Swann lbw appeal, so when umpire Steve Davis rejected Sidebottom's appeal for an inside edge off De Villiers, they had no more ammunition left to have Davis's decision corrected.

Thirteen runs came off the first over after lunch, including a cut shot by Boucher off Swann that raised the 100-run partnership - and was also a technical chance for Paul Collingwood at slip.

The attack continued, but De Villiers finally pulled Broad to mid-on, and by the time Ryan McLaren walked out the storm clouds were gathering.

However, despite a typically ferocious downpour, the players were back out after barely an hour off - and Boucher and McLaren were looking for quick runs.

McLaren played one or two lovely shots in his maiden Test innings to finish with 33, but Boucher finally holed out in the deep off Swann - a wicket barely celebrated by England - and the declaration soon followed.

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see also
ICC to probe referral procedures
16 Jan 10 |  Cricket
England slam referral 'shambles'
16 Jan 10 |  England
Sidebottom frustrated by display
16 Jan 10 |  England
Jonathan Agnew column
16 Jan 10 |  England
ICC defends TV umpire row ruling
16 Jan 10 |  England
Reprieved Smith makes England pay
15 Jan 10 |  England
England in tatters after collapse
14 Jan 10 |  England
England in South Africa 2009-10
17 Jan 10 |  England

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