Cricket: England pay after failing to enforce the follow-on

England 462 and 170-8 South Africa 343

THIS IS still a match that both sides can win though, unless the pitch deteriorates rapidly, the draw is surely favourite. Realistically, the best chance of an England victory rested upon them bowling their opponents out in yesterday's first session of play and then enforcing the follow- on. When that did not happen, it was the final session, extended to 7pm due to earlier rain showers, that suddenly took on match-winning significance, England finishing it 289 runs ahead with one wicket still standing.

Needing to score quickly, the home side managed 170 for 8 in 45 overs, though such was the reckless abandon with which England played that Alec Stewart will surely be saved a potentially tricky decision when England are bowled out sometime today.

England, at least initially, did not allow themselves to become distracted as they have occasionally done in the past. Having lost Mark Butcher for 11 and Nasser Hussain for 0, the latter once again the victim of misfortune - this time to a poor lbw decision - they pressed on, captain Stewart beginning the momentum with a quickfire 28.

When he fell, bowled trying to whip Donald to leg, Atherton and Thorpe raised the tempo further. As a left-hander, Thorpe had more options against Paul Adams and he lofted him over the top, the first time in 46 overs an England player had done so.

Eventually both men sacrificed themselves to the cause, Thorpe playing over a slower ball from Lance Klusener, and Atherton out bowled, trying to cut a straight ball from the same bowler. England then lost their way slightly, losing two wickets for 14 runs, six of those coming from a mighty blow over long-on by Mark Ramprakash off Adams.

Despite the heady scoring rate, England were not helped by some negative bowling from Adams, who almost exclusively fired the ball outside the right-hander's leg-stump. Such tactics - and England are no innocents here having used Phil Tufnell in a similar capacity - have become a blight on the game.

In fact the tactic is so widely used and abused that the International Cricket Council has now passed a standard playing condition that the umpire can call such balls wide. Unfortunately for England and those interested in the cricket yesterday, it will not be in place until 1 October, and Adams' irksome practice went unpunished.

England have for the most part played hard positive cricket at Edgbaston. Had a couple of difficult chances gone their way, such as the diving catch spilled by Ben Spendlove, the substitute, at fine leg, Darren Gough's absence with a broken finger, might have been but a footnote in a glorious triumph. Instead, unless South Africa collapse today, it will probably be seen as the main reason why England came close to shutting the door without quite bolting it.

Mindful of their sloppy cricket on the first day, South Africa's last five batsmen would have begun the day looking no further than the 71 runs required to make England bat again. With the second new ball due almost immediately, and on a pitch beginning to exhibit much of its old capriciousness, the contest should have been tectonic in pace and magnitude.

Instead of proceeding with due caution, the visitors threw it to the wind, though England's bowling, at least initially, did little to persuade them otherwise.

Shaun Pollock has been billed as one of the best all-rounders in world cricket and a couple of fours taken off Angus Fraser did much to bolster the claim. But boldness can have its price and in trying to repeat a hook shot, Pollock top-edged to Robert Croft at fine leg.

Rhodes, meanwhile, continued to keep his running quick and his bat sturdy, bringing up his half-century with a short-armed pull to the mid-wicket boundary off Cork. A committed Christian, Rhodes, following a fallow 14 months where he has played just three Tests, has been reborn as a batsman.

A notorious worker of the ball, Rhodes recently sought the advice of Barry Richards, who told him to be more discerning and play the ball back from where it came from, instead of trying to hit is somewhere squarer. That way, Richards reasoned, you get the bowlers to bowl where you want them to.

So far the advice appears to have worked and Rhodes' only false shot was the top-edged hook off Cork that was dropped by Spendlove when the batsman was on 64. Even when Mark Boucher departed hanging his bat out to Fraser, Rhodes continued to play with confidence.

Joined by the left-handed Klusener, who thumped heartily through the line of the ball, the pair took South Africa past the follow-on, adding 104 runs for the eighth wicket.

Eventually it was the returning Fraser, taking his fourth wicket of the innings who managed to prevent Rhodes from recording his second Test century, with a ball that cut back sharply to take the inside edge. Klusener followed immediately afterwards for 57, slashing at a wide one from Mark Ealham.

Not to be outdone, Cork finished the job off with a brilliant return catch off Donald to give him his fourth five-wicket haul in Test and his first in almost two years. More of the same today will bring him the plaudits he craves and has recently missed.

Edgbaston scoreboard

South Africa won toss

ENGLAND - First Innings 462 (M A Atherton 103, M A Butcher 77; A A Donald 4-95).

SOUTH AFRICA - First Innings

G Kirsten c Butcher b Cork 12

80 min, 55 balls, 1 four

G F J Liebenberg c sub b Cork 3

22 min, 15 balls

J H Kallis c Stewart b Cork 61

192 min, 131 balls, 3 fours

D J Cullinan b Fraser 78

221 min, 193 balls, 8 fours

*W J Cronje c sub b Cork 1

8 min, 6 balls

J N Rhodes c Stewart b Fraser 95

228 min, 156 balls, 8 fours, 1 six

S M Pollock c Croft b Fraser 16

16 min, 18 balls, 3 fours

M V Boucher c Stewart b Fraser 0

18 min, 9 balls

L Klusener c Stewart b Ealham 57

118 min, 90 balls, 11 fours

A A Donald c and b Cork 7

28 min, 17 balls

P R Adams not out 6

24 min, 17 balls, 1 four

Extras (lb5, nb2) 7

Total (482 min, 117.3 overs) 343

Fall: 1-6 (Liebenberg), 2-38 (Kirsten), 3-119 (Kallis), 4-125 (Cronje), 5-191 (Cullinan), 6-211 (Pollock), 7-224 (Boucher), 8-328 (Rhodes), 9- 328 (Klusener).

Bowling: Fraser 34-6-103-4 (nb1) (9-3-16-0, 5-1-12-0, 16-2-58-3, 4-0- 17-1); Cork 32.3-7-93-5 (6-3-12-1, 7-2-15-1, 10-1-25-2, 7-1-22-0, 2-0- 19-0, 0.3-0-0-1); Ealham 23-8-55-1 (8-1-21-0, 4-1-13-0, 11-6-21-1); Croft 27-3-85-0 (18-1-50-0, 3-0-15-0, 6-2-20-0); Butcher 1-0-2-0 (nb1).

Kallis 50: 143 min, 88 balls, 3 fours. Cullinan 50: 159 min, 148 balls, 4 fours. Rhodes 50: 102 min, 62 balls, 4 fours, 1 six. Klusener 50: 104 min, 79 balls, 10 fours.

ENGLAND - Second innings

M A Butcher lbw b Pollock 11

23 min, 21 balls, 1 four

M A Atherton b Klusener 43

170 min, 115 balls, 7 fours

N Hussain lbw b Donald 0

13 min, 5 balls

*A J Stewart b Donald 28

58 min, 34 balls, 3 fours

G P Thorpe b Klusener 43

65 min, 59 balls, 5 fours

M R Ramprakash c Kallis b Adams 11

16 min, 10 balls, 1 four, 1 six

M A Ealham c Pollock b Klusener 7

12 min, 12 balls, 1 four

D G Cork st Boucher b Adams 2

16 min, 7 balls

R D B Croft not out 1

2 min, 8 balls

Extras (b10, lb6, w8) 24

Total (for 8, 196 min, 45.1 overs) 170

Fall: 1-24 (Butcher), 2-31 (Hussain), 3-80 (Stewart), 4-148 (Thorpe), 5-153 (Atherton), 6-167 (Ramprakash), 7-167 (Ealham), 8-170 (Cork).

To bat: A R C Fraser, D Gough.

Bowling: Donald 10-1-48-2 (w1) (6-0-24-1, 2-1-5-1, 2-0-19-0); Pollock 12-2-43-1 (w4) (5-1-10-1, 4-1-22-0, 3-0-11-0); Klusener 11-4-27-3 (5-3- 4-0, 6-1-23-3); Adams 12.1-3-36-2 (one spell).

Progress: Tea 29-1 (Atherton 9, Hussain 0) 7 overs. 50: 58 min, 12.4 overs. 100: 127 min, 29.2 overs. 150: 165 min, 38.3 overs. Bad light stopped play: 7.16pm.

Umpires: D R Shepherd and R B Tiffin.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones