Second Test: South Africa clinch victory
England 203 & 327 v South Africa 522 & 9 - South Africa win the second Test by 10 wickets
Monday 21 July 2008
England tonight slipped to a 10-wicket defeat inside four days against South Africa, in the second npower Test at Headingley.
The hosts were bowled out for 327 - leaving their opponents to make just nine runs in an unexpected second innings to go 1-0 up with two matches remaining in the series.
Opener Alastair Cook (60), nightwatchman James Anderson and then some lower-order resistance - completed by Stuart Broad (67 not out), in a last-wicket stand of 61 with debutant Darren Pattinson - delayed the inevitable.
But South Africa's pace attack were always in control, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel each ending up with three wickets and wicketkeeper Mark Boucher nine catches in the match. Cook ate up 178 balls and almost five hours in an attempted rearguard - but it was Anderson who perhaps deserved most credit for his brave and skilful, career-best 34.
In the course of his 59-run third-wicket stand with Cook, the left-handed tail-ender defied blows to the wrist and then the side of his head from successive Steyn short balls.
Andrew Flintoff, in his comeback match after 18 months out of Test cricket with an ankle injury, tried to inspire an unlikely fightback - and managed to add 68 for the seventh wicket with Tim Ambrose.
But number nine Broad provided a resigned home crowd with most reason to cheer, hitting 11 fours from 60 balls before Pattinson was last out.
The problem for England was that their frontline batsmen did not do nearly enough in either innings - and the 203 all out they mustered first time round, under cloud cover but on a sound pitch, was the main reason for their defeat.
South Africa's 522 in reply featured big hundreds from Ashwell Prince and AB de Villiers, leaving England with only an unlikely 'great escape' to aim for when they began their second innings with more than two days remaining.
If there was a consolation for England, it was that they at least avoided a first innings defeat on home ground since they faced these same opponents five years ago.
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