HomeSportCricketEngland battling at lunch to save first Test

England battling at lunch to save first Test

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LONDON, July 23 – England batsmen Ian Bell and Matt Prior bunkered down in a sunshine-bathed final morning of the first Test at The Oval on Monday in a bid to grind out a draw with South Africa who were leading by 75 runs at lunch.

The visitors claimed the solitary wicket of Ravi Bopara (22) as Bell (36) and Prior (29) went into lunch with England on 177 for five.

South Africa needed five wickets to claim victory that would put them 1-0 up in the three-match Test series.

The Proteas posted an imposing 637 for two declared on Sunday in their first innings.

Bopara departed when he attempted to square cut fast bowler Dale Steyn’s short delivery and played the ball back on to his stumps.

England remained solid after his departure, although there were some narrow escapes for Bell.

The Warwickshire batsman was dropped on 20 by wicketkeeper AB de Villiers after edging leg-spinner Imran Tahir.

South Africa’s recently promoted keeper gave him a second reprieve when he failed to break the stumps and seize on a run-out opportunity that came after a quickly taken single.

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