CRICKET : England are confident they have the power to fight back against South Africa on Sunday, after conceding their 1-0 series lead at Newlands.
England are confident they have the power to fight back against South Africa on Sunday, after conceding their 1-0 series lead at Newlands.
The contest moves on to Port Elizabeth following Friday’s 112-run win for the hosts, which brought the series level with two matches to play.
But England skipper Andrew Strauss vowed: “We can bounce back strong. I still believe in that dressing room there are 11 very positive cricketers, who are happy with their games – and there’s no reason why we can’t win tomorrow (Sunday).”
He added: “We’ve got a very good record of coming back after defeats and South Africa have proved they can do it as well.”
AB de Villiers’ 121 was the starring role in South Africa’s ground record-equalling 354 for six – and England never threatened a lasting challenge under lights, despite in-form Paul Collingwood’s 86.
Fast bowlers Wayne Parnell (five for 48) and Morne Morkel (three for 39) did most of the damage, and the match was over with more than eight overs unused.
Reflecting on where England went wrong – many felt the main turning point was losing the toss at a venue where teams rarely win batting second under lights – Strauss suggested: “We tried a lot of different things with the ball, maybe too many.
“Then although we showed quite a lot of intent, we lost too many wickets – and you can’t afford too many soft dismissals in those sorts of circumstances.”
As well as Collingwood’s runs, there was some consolation as Kevin Pietersen (45) hinted at regaining some form following his four-month injury lay-off – and fit-again Stuart Broad also took four wickets. Broad’s pace partner James Anderson did not bowl his full allocation, but Strauss allayed fears a knee niggle has returned to trouble him.
“There’s no reason to expect at this stage he’s not going to be fit for tomorrow,” the captain said of Anderson.