HomeSportCricketDraw keeps Proteas ahead

Draw keeps Proteas ahead

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HEADINGLEY — South Africa preserved their 1-0 series lead, as the second Test with England finished in a draw after a captivating final day at Headingley.

The tourists resumed on 39-0, only 33 runs ahead and skipper Graeme Smith extended his partnership with Jacques Rudolph to 120.

Kevin Pietersen removed Rudolph with his second delivery of part-time off-spin and took a Test-best 3-52, while Stuart Broad (5-69) struck with successive deliveries in a spell of 4-12 from 20
balls before South Africa declared on
258-9.

It left England needing 253 in 39 overs and they sent Pietersen in to open, but closed 123 short of victory at 130-4 when a draw was agreed at 19:30BST with six overs remaining.

Pietersen, named as man-of-the-match following his first-innings 149, hit three fours in the opening over and a burgeoning crowd sensed something momentous, but he spooned a catch to mid-on from the opening ball of the third over.

Alastair Cook hit a huge six in his 46, and even when he departed in the 18th over with 163 still needed, England sent out Matt Prior at number five.

His run-out for seven spelt the end of their attacking aspirations and South Africa now go into the final Test at Lord’s on August 20 needing merely to avoid defeat to win the series and depose England at the top of the Test rankings.

Any chance of anything other than a draw had seemed remote with only one wicket down at lunch, after a morning session hampered by two stoppages for rain in front of a crowd containing almost as many stewards as spectators.

Rudolph calmly completed his half-century from 92 balls, his 11th Test fifty, but after less than five overs the players were off again as another shower drifted in between the sunshine.

The impromptu opener guided Anderson through the slips to record the century partnership from 194 balls, his contribution 65. Tim Bresnan was one of the few bowlers to find an edge that carried, but Smith was dropped by Anderson on 44, diving to his right at second slip.

However, as in the first innings the breakthrough came from an unlikely source — the occasional spin of Pietersen, who had taken only five Test wickets prior to this match.

England now travel to the home of cricket in the hope of a victory that will maintain their four-year unbeaten record in home Test series.

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