South Africa's coach, Mickey Arthur, last night admitted his team had been 'terribly disappointing' in the first two days of the first Test at Lord's. "We came here full of expectation and we have not delivered," he said. "We did not assess conditions correctly, we did not get our lines right, the execution of our plans was poor."
Arthur added: "I'm just going to write off this innings. If a trend develops in the series it will be a worry but I'm confident the bowlers will bounce back. Yesterday they had trouble getting used to the slope, the pitch was slow, and they had the buzz of playing at Lord's. I told them, 'the tourist day is over', but we did not really deliver again this morning."
Before the match Arthur had suggested Ian Bell was a weak link in the England batting line-up. After Bell's 199 Arthur said: "It was the kiss of death for us, but I don't regret saying it. When we put our strategy together we wanted to put him under pressure, then we gave him four half-volleys to kick-start his innings. He then showed his class. He was under pressure, and he delivered."
"The only positive," added Arthur, clutching at the thinnest of straws, "is that England have not seen anywhere near the best of us."