Cricket: Stuart Broad sparkles but England run out of time to level series
ENGLAND ran out of time and resources for a remarkable run chase and had to settle for a stalemate in the second Investec Test at Headingley yesterday.
Stuart Broad’s burst of four wickets for 12 runs helped to leave the hosts a target of 253 in 39 overs, following South Africa’s declaration on 258 for nine just after tea on day five.
England took up the challenge initially by sending Kevin Pietersen out to open the innings and see if he could follow up his first-innings century. It was not to be – Pietersen miscued to mid-on off Vernon Philander, following three boundaries in Morne Morkel’s first over – and after closing on 130 for four, England will head for the final Test at Lord’s 1-0 down.
Broad (five for 69) had seized the moment after Pietersen (three for 52) produced career-best figures with his part-time off-spin as South Africa lost six wickets for 116 in the afternoon session. But Jacques Rudolph (69) and Graeme Smith (52) had put on a century opening stand to keep the tourists in control of this rain-shortened match.
Broad announced himself with two wickets in two balls but was a long shot from the outset yesterday to take wickets quickly enough, and hope forecast rain would hold off sufficiently to bowl the opposition out and chase a victory target.
The weather performed acceptably, with partial cloud cover and just two light showers which took an hour out of an extended morning session. England’s bowlers, however, could find no way past South Africa’s left-handed opening pair.
Rudolph grew in confidence – while his captain busied himself with taking his welter of runs against England past 2,000. Rudolph, promoted to deputise for injured first-innings centurion Alviro Petersen, completed his 92-ball 50 with his ninth four. James Anderson dropped a tough chance to reprieve Smith in Tim Bresnan’s only over of the morning.
Then, just before lunch, the unexpected breakthrough came from Pietersen. He needed two deliveries to shift Rudolph first time round, and just one yesterday – winning an lbw verdict.
Pietersen’s second and third wickets came in unconvincing circumstances – although he ought too to have had AB de Villiers, dropped at first slip when Anderson put down his third chance of the match. Before then, Pietersen had Smith caught at short leg when DRS upheld Steve Davis’ decision.
Hashim Amla and De Villiers ran up another half-century stand, before the latter slapped a Pietersen full toss to cover – where Alastair Cook took a good catch. De Villiers was perhaps a little unfortunate with the first lbw, to a ball which appeared to be beating leg-stump. But JP Duminy could not quibble with Davis’ next verdict, condemning the left-hander to a golden duck, and Philander was sent back for single figures in similar fashion.
Jacques Kallis still stood between England and stage one of a miracle – yet even he could not keep Broad at bay, a short ball running over his glove for caught behind. When Anderson held on to an exceptional one-handed return catch to see off Dale Steyn, the first of two wickets to fall for the addition of 18 runs after tea, Smith sensed a chance to call England’s bluff.
With Pietersen gone, Cook and Andrew Strauss – at number three – put on 54 in 10 overs.
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