Swann and Broad reduce hosts to ruins

South Africa 343 & 76-6 England 575-9d

To general astonishment – and that was merely their own reaction – England seized control of the Test series against South Africa yesterday. The conception was a classic of its kind, the execution was impeccable: create scoreboard pressure by studiously accumulating a large first-innings lead and then move in for a swift kill.

England followed this age-old method to perfection. First, they took their first innings to 575, putting them 232 runs ahead, and then in an hour of destructive, accurate bowling against players uncertain of their options, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad cut a swathe through the cream of South Africa's batting.

At the close of the fourth day of the second Test, South Africa were 76 for 6, still trailing by 156 runs. This represented a recovery from the wreckage of 50 for 6 but they still have 98 overs to negotiate. It is all over bar the shouting, though from South Africa, improbably, only whimpers have been heard so far.

England were exemplary almost from start to finish, albeit that Paul Collingwood was ruled out for the day having dislocated a finger warming up in the morning. The easier part of their task was to establish daylight between themselves and their opponents but the fashion in which Ian Bell fulfilled his obligation was wonderful to behold.

Bell has always been pleasing on the eye, often before contriving some ugly way to get out, but yesterday after playing himself in once more he played a versatile and subtle innings which enabled his team to open a wide gap. It was his ninth Test century, his fifth at No 6 and one that backed up the decision to play six batsmen.

Then came the drama. Memories initially went back to Lord's last year when South Africa responded to a first-innings deficit of 346 by batting for two days in their second and losing only three wickets. There was never the remotest chance of a reprise.

The early overs were safely overcome but South Africa must have feared, albeit subliminally, the entry into the attack of Swann. He has taken wickets in the first overs of spells from the moment he entered Test cricket little more than a year ago. So he did again. Ashwell Prince, looking increasingly like the makeshift opener he is, prodded at a ball while stuck in his crease and the resultant inside edge on to pad was grasped inches from the ground by Bell at short point.

On the stroke of tea, Hashim Amla essayed a curiously ambitious drive and was bowled. Four minutes after it, Jacques Kallis shouldered arms to a ball from Broad that cut back viciously and struck his off stump. Shortly after, AB de Villiers, having survived one review of an umpiring decision when England's appeal against a refused catch behind was rejected, lost his own review of a leg before verdict, the ball again cutting back.

Foolhardily, JP Duminy tried to leave the next ball but it too cut back, took his inside edge and cannoned into the stumps. The last time Broad played at Durban he was hit for six sixes in an over by Yuvraj Singh of India in a Twenty20 match. Then he could do no right, now he could do no wrong. Graeme Smith was all now that stood between England and victory and Swann removed him with a peach that breached the forward defensive prod. Smith's decision to refer can have been based only on desperation.

There was a chance then that England could win the match and lead the series on the fourth evening, but Mark Boucher dug doughtily in and Morne Morkel somehow kept out Swann. Bad light terminated South Africa's misery, temporarily anyway, with 17 overs of the day remaining.

Far from looking toothless as many had feared, England's attack, at least as exemplified by Broad and Swann, was incisive and intelligent. Swann has now taken 52 Test wickets in 2009 and only the world cricketer of the year Mitchell Johnson has taken more. He brings a lovely variety, intelligence and joy to his bowling which has been irresistible in several ways.

As for Broad, he threatened to bowl one of those spells which brought the Ashes home last August. He has made much of his intention to keep it simple by aiming to hit the top of off stump and in finding the right length he was a real handful for a few overs on a pitch still without much life. All this was made possible by earlier events. South Africa rued their misfortunes earlier in the day when they regularly passed English bats and again were much too generous in their fielding lapses. Before he had really got going for the day Matt Prior was put down by Prince at gully off Makhaya Ntini. It was a hard chance but hard chances need taking.

Bell and Prior grew in assurance and took their partnership to 112 when Prior, after reaching his 50 with a six, chopped on. Broad was oddly muted, Swann came out like the dashing cavalier as always and Bell's serenity was impressive by now.

The strokes came on both sides of the wicket, off front and back foot. True, he still has not been the only centurion in an England innings. But this hundred may not only have saved his career but given England a golden and unexpected chance of a 1-0 lead.

Durban scoreboard

Durban (Fourth day of five)

South Africa trail England by 156 runs with four second-innings wickets remaining

South Africa won toss

SOUTH AFRICA First Innings 343 (Smith 75, Kallis 75, de Villiers 50, Swann 4-110).

ENGLAND First Innings

Overnight: 386-5 (Cook 118, Collingwood 91)

I R Bell c Boucher b Steyn......... 141

227 balls 11 fours 1 six

†M J Prior b Duminy......... 60

81 balls 6 fours 1 six

S C J Broad c Kallis b Duminy......... 20

59 balls 1 four 1 six

G P Swann c Prince b Steyn......... 22

14 balls 2 fours 1 six

J M Anderson not out......... 1

4 balls

G Onions not out......... 2

8 balls

Extras (lb 10, w 6, nb 1)......... 17

Total (9 wkts dec, 170 overs)......... 575

Fall: 1-71 (Strauss), 2-104 (Trott), 3-155 (Pietersen), 4-297 (Cook), 5-365 (Collingwood), 6-477 (Prior), 7-535 (Broad), 8-565 (Swann), 9-569 (Bell).

Bowling: Steyn 34-6-94-2, Ntini 29-4-115-0, Morkel 31-6-78-3 (w3), Kallis 14-1-43-0 (nb1), Harris 38-4-146-1 (w1), Duminy 24-1-89-3.

SOUTH AFRICA Second Innings

A G Prince c Bell b Swann......... 16

28 balls 1 four

*G C Smith lbw b Swann......... 22

56 balls 2 fours

H M Amla b Swann......... 6

13 balls 1 four

J H Kallis b Broad......... 3

4 balls

A B de Villiers lbw b Broad......... 2

15 balls

J P Duminy b Broad......... 0

1 ball

†M V Boucher not out......... 20

41 balls 3 fours

M Morkel not out......... 7

34 balls 1 four

Extras......... 0

Total (6 wkts, 32 overs)......... 76

Fall: 1-27 (Prince), 2-37 (Amla), 3-40 (Kallis), 4-44 (de Villiers), 5-44 (Duminy), 6-50 (Smith).

To bat: P L Harris, M Ntini, D W Steyn.

Bowling: Anderson 7-1-24-0, Onions 4-1-12-0, Swann 12-3-22-3, Broad 9-2-18-3.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) & A M Saheba (India).

TV replay umpire: S J Davis (Aus).

Turning points How the action unfolded on day four

10.12am Prior gets away with it During a solid spell for the hosts, Matt Prior on 23 is dropped off Paul Harris.



10.41am England develop a lead A single pushed by Ian Bell to the leg side takes England's lead past 100.

11.06am Bell tolls for South Africa With an effortless lofted drive over mid-on Bell reaches his ninth Test ton, his first for nearly 18 months.

11.32am 500 reasons to cheer England pass 500 for the first time since their tour of the West Indies last spring.

1.02pm Visitors pull ahead England's lead hits 200.

1.27pm Declaration England declare, 232 ahead.

2.24pm Swann's flying start Swann strikes in his first over as Prince is caught off bat and pad.

3.05pm England seize prize Kallis shoulders arms to a ball from Broad, which swings back a little to clip off stump.

3.16pm First a bad review... England ask for a review of a catch behind against A B De Villiers. It is struck down.

3.24pm ...then a good one But it doesn't matter – the review system works against South Africa next over when De Villiers appeals unsuccessfully against an lbw verdict.

3.37pm Captain joins the fallen Smith is palpably lbw to Swann and a review merely delays the inevitable.

4.22pm Brief respite The seventh-wicket pair have hung around but their relief at bad light, followed by rain, is only cosmetic. A great day for England.

Suggested Topics
News
The current recommendation from Britain's Chief Medical Officer, is that people refrain from drinking on at least two days a week
food + drinkTheory is that hangovers are caused by methanol poisoning
Life and Style
techConcept would see planes coated in layer of micro-sensors and able to sense wear and tear
News
Patrick Stewart in the classiest ice bucket to date
people
Sport
Premier League Live Saturday 23 August
sportAll the action from today's Premier League matches
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
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

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition