Late wickets assist England cause

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The Independent Online

England claimed telling late reward for their patience and stamina as they eked out five precious wickets on an inevitably shortened first day of the second Test at Kingsmead.



The first two came inside 10 overs, after South Africa had chosen to bat on a sunny morning - but it was not until Graeme Smith (75) and Jacques Kallis (75) had shut England out for more than three hours in a stand of 150 that a rush of three more for 10 runs pushed the balance back in the tourists' favour.

It was Graeme Swann who finally saw off Kallis, and South Africa's second stumble accounted for a stumps score of 175 for five. Evening cloud cover, a persistent blight at the Durban venue, took 29 overs out of the day.

South Africa soon found themselves 10 for two, on a day when heat and humidity quickly became the biggest enemy for a four-man attack.

Ashwell Prince, perhaps playing a little low in back-foot defence in the third over of the match, was surprised by the life in the surface - and there were no second chances with a James Anderson delivery which took the glove and flew to Swann at third slip.

It was not until Graham Onions was replaced by Stuart Broad, though, that England struck again when the wristy Hashim Amla aimed across and missed a full-length delivery to go lbw.

Swann got one to turn from round the wicket to Smith on 45, an edge just short of slip was as close as England had come since the first hour.

Kallis too had one moment of fortune when he edged Jonathan Trott through a large gap between the wicketkeeper and a solitary slip fielder for his fifth four to go to his 50.

So it was not until the second over after tea when Swann, who was bowling round the wicket at Kallis, found the edge with one which simply drifted on the angle and was neatly snapped up low down at slip by Paul Collingwood, and Smith's run-out three overs and six runs later was a major bonus.

When JP Duminy then went cheaply, lbw pushing forward to some Onions swing - and rain arrived following bad light - England were ahead of the game.

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