Vaughan plays captain's innings to save England from themselves

Michael Vaughan will expect to post more substantial totals in 2005 than the unbeaten 82 he scored against South Africa yesterday, but the England captain may struggle to play a more important innings. England were reeling on 278 for 7 when Geraint Jones edged Shaun Pollock to Graeme Smith at first slip, and Vaughan, on 15, had given little indication of what was about to follow.

Michael Vaughan will expect to post more substantial totals in 2005 than the unbeaten 82 he scored against South Africa yesterday, but the England captain may struggle to play a more important innings. England were reeling on 278 for 7 when Geraint Jones edged Shaun Pollock to Graeme Smith at first slip, and Vaughan, on 15, had given little indication of what was about to follow.

In perfect bowling conditions and murky light, Makhaya Ntini and Pollock had caused havoc, dismissing Matthew Hoggard, Andrew Flintoff and Jones in the first 10 overs of the second day. At this juncture England looked as though they were about to waste the wonderful innings of Andrew Strauss on Thursday.

However, with the result of this match, and possibly the series, in the balance, Vaughan proceeded to show the sort of form which made him the No 1 batsman in the world during the winter of 2002-03. With the ball seaming and swinging around and with only the tail to bat with, the 30-year-old chose to abandon the attritional approach he had adopted and went on the attack.

It was a policy which changed the course of the day. A series of drives cuts and pulls allowed Vaughan to take the initiative away from the South African bowlers and put England into a strong position.

With England at 411 for 8, this should prove to be a highly competitive total if the weather remains as it was yesterday, yet Vaughan walked off an angry man after the umpires Steve Bucknor and Aleem Dar decided to take the players from the field. He had every right to be annoyed after his team had worked so hard to get on top.

Ashley Giles added 51 runs with his close friend before driving one to cover and Stephen Harmison, who will restart this morning on 30, has already helped put on 82 vital runs.

The gloomy weather and occasional showers, which caused the players to leave the Wanderers on three occasions, did nothing to help England's progress. These breaks kept interrupting the batsmen's concentration. They also allowed the South African bowlers and the pitch to remain fresh. But then, with the South African attack looking ragged and the scoreboard rattling along, Vaughan was told that he had to leave the field. His mood would not have been helped by the reappearance of the sun five minutes after play was finally abandoned.

Heavy morning rain delayed the start of play by 160 minutes and batting immediately looked difficult on a pitch juiced up by the weather and several hours under a tarpaulin sheet.

In conditions like this there is no better bowler in the world than Pollock and Vaughan needed to be alert to keep him out. He probably did not feel it at the time but these obstacles may have supplied him with exactly what he needed.

The England captain had been in poor form before this exhibition, scoring just 84 runs in the first three Test matches. In each of his six innings he had reached double figures but had failed to go on to post a score greater than 20.

Carelessness, along with a lack of concentration, is the only way of explaining Vaughan's predicament because a batsman should be at his most vulnerable before he reaches double figures. However, this can happen on a good pitch when a player attempts to take the game to the opposition before he has become accustomed to the pace and bounce of the pitch.

Yet, there was never any chance of this happening on a surface where the ball was snaking around and beating the outside edge regularly. Survival was Vaughan's only concern and in order to do this he had to watch the ball like a hawk and hope that his feet were moving precisely.

He would have hoped that Hoggard would play a major role in blunting the second new ball. England's nightwatchman spent 20 minutes attempting to do just this before fending an Ntini short ball to gully.

Flintoff received his customary cheer as he entered the arena but never looked comfortable during the 19 minutes he spent at the crease. His innings was interrupted by a break for rain and he failed to add to his two runs after the interval.

South Africa's bowlers, and Ntini in particular, have got after Flintoff, peppering him with short-pitched balls. This tactic has unsettled the big man and played a part in his downfall. He loves to get on the front foot and crash the ball down the ground but Smith's bowlers have kept the ball away from his favourite shot. Flintoff will not want to see a replay of the horrible swipe that he edged to first slip. Everything about it was wrong and, but for Vaughan's brilliance, it could have been costly.

Wanderers Scoreboard

England won toss

England - First Innings

(Overnight: 263 for 4)

M E Trescothick c Boucher b Steyn 16

67 min, 47 balls, 3 fours

A J Strauss c Kallis b Pollock 147

355 min, 250 balls, 23 fours, 1 six

R W T Key c Smith b Ntini 83

214 min, 164 balls, 11 fours, 1 six

*M P Vaughan not out 82

276 min, 160 balls, 10 fours, 1 six

G P Thorpe c Dippenaar b Ntini 0

12 min, 8 balls

M J Hoggard c de Villiers b Ntini 5

29 min, 19 balls, 1 four

A Flintoff c Smith b Ntini 2

19 min, 11 balls

ÝG O Jones c Smith b Pollock 2

7 min, 6 balls

A F Giles c Gibbs b Steyn 26

60 min, 35 balls, 4 fours

S J Harmison not out 30

72 min, 49 balls, 6 fours,

Extras (lb13 nb5) 18

Total (for 8, 560 min, 124 overs) 411

Fall: 1-45 (Trescothick) 2-227 (Key) 3-262 (Strauss) 4-263 (Thorpe) 5-273 (Hoggard) 6-275 (Flintoff) 7-278 (Jones) 8-329 (Giles).

To bat: J M Anderson.

Bowling: Pollock 33-12-81-2 (7-3-18-0, 6-1-10-0, 3-1-14-0, 17-7-39-2); Ntini 34-8-111-4 (5-2-19-0, 6-0-24-0, 2-1-1-0, 3-0-6-1, 13-4-32-3, 5-1-29-0); Steyn 21-7-75-2 (nb2) (7-4-14-1, 3-0-22-0, 3-1-4-0, 5-1-15-0, 3-1-20-1); Kallis 22-2-79-0 (nb2) (4-1-6-0, 1-0-4-0, 3-0-13-0, 4-0-20-0, 5-1-12-0, 5-0-24-0); Boje 14-2-52-0 (nb1) (1-0-1-0, 13-2-51-0).

Progress: First day: 50: 89 min, 20.2 overs. Lunch: 77-1 (Strauss 40, Key 16) 28 overs. 100: 143 min, 33.4 overs. 150: 200 min, 46.5 overs. Tea: 187-1 (Strauss 107, Key 57) 58 overs. 200: 250 min, 60.2 overs. 250: 333 min, 78 overs. New ball taken after 80 overs at 252-2. Bad light stopped play 5.42pm. Close: 263-4 (Vaughan 9, Hoggard 0) 85.4 overs. Second day: rain delayed start until 12.41pm (min 83 overs; early lunch taken). Bad light stopped play 1.22-1.45pm 275-5 (Vaughan 14, Flintoff 2) 94.1 overs. Rain stopped play 2.34pm-4.18pm 293-7 (Vaughan 29, Giles 1) 104 overs. 300: 471 min, 105.5 overs. 350: 511 min, 113.5 overs. 400: 557 min, 123.3 overs. Bad light stopped play 5.55pm.

Strauss's 50: 132 min, 95 balls, 10 fours. 100: 224 min, 155 balls, 17 fours, 1 six. Key's 50: 146 min, 110 balls, 7 fours. Vaughan's 50: 222 min, 131 balls, 7 fours.

South Africa: *G C Smith, H H Gibbs, J A Rudolph, J H Kallis, H H Dippenaar, A B de Villiers, ÝM V Boucher, S M Pollock, N Boje, M Ntini, D W Steyn.

Umpires: Aleem Dar (Pak) and S A Bucknor (WI).

TV replay umpire: K H Hurter.

Match referee: C H Lloyd.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
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

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine