England In Test cliffhanger

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The Independent Online
THE FINAL Test match between England and South Africa is poised on a knife edge after a thrilling fourth day's play at Headingley yesterday.

With the series tied at 1-1 and all to play for the, game swung dramatically first one way and then the other as 14 wickets fell during the day.

Victory is tantalisingly near the grasp of both sides and when the final day's play gets under way this morning South Africa will need another 34 runs, while England need two wickets for their first victory in a five- Test series for 11 years.

England started yesterday on 206 for 4 in their second innings, looking to pile on the runs to put the match beyond the visitors' reach. However, South Africa's fast bowler, Allan Donald, had other ideas and he tore through the lower English batting order. England were dismissed for 240, the last six wickets chalking up just 40 runs. Donald and Shaun Pollock both claimed five wickets.

The South Africans' victory target of 219 then very quickly looked a long way off. Helped by some more of the contentious umpiring decisions that have blighted this series, England's pace attack of Darren Gough and Angus Fraser reduced South Africa to 27 for 5.

Then, as an exultant Headingley crowd prepared to salute England's first victory in a five-Test series since Mike Gatting claimed the Ashes in 1987.