CRICKET : England’s new-ball bowlers saw off a South African opener each as the tourists made early inroads in the fourth one-day international at Port Elizabeth.
England’s new-ball bowlers saw off a South African opener each as the tourists made early inroads in the fourth one-day international at Port Elizabeth.
Home captain Graeme Smith lasted only four balls, after choosing to bat first on a cloudy morning – and then watched his team struggle to 58 for four at the 15-over mark.
It was a promising start for England, who were seeking to re-establish the series lead they lost in Cape Town on Friday – with just one match remaining after this.
Both Stuart Broad and James Anderson, the latter playing despite a knee niggle, found enough swing to test the batsmen on a pitch of evident easy pace and even bounce. Smith went in the second over with only six on the board, to Broad’s second legitimate ball.
Broad and Anderson had each begun their day with a wide. But the former then got some full-length swing on target, and Smith missed to be lbw to one that pitched just in line with leg-stump.
Hashim Amla, with two half-centuries under his belt at the top of the order from as many attempts in this series, struck South Africa’s first boundary – a back-foot drive through extra-cover off Broad from the last ball of the fourth over.
But when he tried to repeat the dose through midwicket off Anderson, he found the man in the ring at catchable height – and Graeme Swann did the necessary to make it 24 for two after seven overs.
AB de Villiers, the scourge of England with a breath-taking hundred at Newlands, was joined by JP Duminy – who was the only South African batsman who did not impress two days ago.
There appeared little margin for error with short balls. But England, unsurprisingly taking their powerplay immediately, profited when Duminy was early on a pull at Anderson and somehow looped a simple catch behind to Matt Prior.
Perhaps the biggest wicket was De Villiers’ when he shuffled across and missed a turn to leg in Tim Bresnan’s first over. On another day, he might have survived the lbw verdict.