Cook and Collingwood boost England

Back-to-form Alastair Cook made a painstaking century as he combined with Paul Collingwood to give England a significant mid-match advantage in the second Test.

Cook's first hundred since May and a gritty 91 from Collingwood underpinned a stumps total of 386 for five in reply to South Africa's 343 on a gloriously sunny third day at Kingsmead.



At a venue where many assumed the likes of Cook and Collingwood may be destined to be overshadowed by a major innings from Kevin Pietersen or even his fellow South Africa-born batsman Jonathan Trott, it was England's determined fourth-wicket pair who shone.



Cook (118) had made just one half-century in 12 Test innings but ground his way past that milestone from 136 balls, and then prospered against the old ball on the way to three figures in 82 more - with 10 fours along the way.



Collingwood shared a stand of 142 with the opener as South Africa endured a wicketless second session and replicated Cook's unhurried tempo in his own 215-ball innings as the tourists took a 43-run lead at stumps with Ian Bell 55 not out.



Pietersen (31) and Trott (18), meanwhile, were the only batsmen to lose their wickets before tea.



Trott, who was under the microscope for his habitually time-consuming fidgets before facing up, did not delay his hosts long this time.



He went to the seventh ball of the day - and Morne Morkel's third - when he found himself slightly turned around pushing forward to a straight ball and edging behind to be well-caught by Mark Boucher.



The scene was therefore set early for Pietersen, in his first Test innings at what was once his home ground.



It took him nine balls to register his first runs. But when he did so, it was in trademark Pietersen style - a drive for four off Morkel steered expertly wide of mid-on.



He had already been dropped by Jacques Kallis at slip off Paul Harris, though, before missing an attempted sweep at the left-arm spinner to go lbw.



Cook's struggle to establish himself took him to near runless extremes in the first hour, before the introduction of Harris appeared to give him some breathing space.



The left-hander successfully queried Amiesh Saheba's decision to give him caught out at short-leg for 64 off JP Duminy.



Whether the DRS evidence conclusively proved the umpire wrong - as, strictly, it must - was a moot point, but it showed enough to know Cook would have been most unfortunate had his appeal failed.



Cook's initial lack of productivity had given Graeme Smith a chance to ease Makhaya Ntini back into the attack, after the glut of boundaries he had conceded to Andrew Strauss yesterday.



But in his 101st Test, South Africa's veteran pace bowler was the weak link which allowed England much-needed leeway to attack.



Among the other frontline bowlers, Morkel (three for 69) was the pick on a pacy pitch which was always likely to be at its best for batting today.



Cook finally went to Morkel in early evening, a good delivery from round the wicket holding its line and taking the edge for a neat catch at second slip by Kallis.



But Bell produced easily the most fluent innings of the day as England eased beyond parity, with plenty of power to add.



Collingwood very nearly ground to a halt as he approached three figures, only to fall short anyway when an attempted cut at Duminy's off-spin resulted in a thin edge behind.



In the match situation, extra batsman Bell's 65-ball 50 - containing five fours and a six over long-on off Harris - was a very valuable contribution, as England balanced the demands of buying time to try to force victory over the last two days and making sure they did not get ahead of themselves.



South Africa, who had a chastening experience in the field, were unable to help themselves when Matt Prior was dropped at short-leg on six by Hashim Amla off Kallis.



He is the sort of batsman who could hurt the hosts even more tomorrow and was unbeaten on 11 at the close.



News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star