Rain frustrates England

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iol spt aug5 Graeme Smith AP South African opening batsmen Graeme Smith, pictured, and Jacques Rudolph resisted some hostile bowling before a second rain stoppage on the fourth day of the second Test against England.

Leeds – South African opening batsmen Graeme Smith and Jacques Rudolph resisted some hostile bowling before a second rain stoppage on the fourth day of the second Test against England at Headingley on Sunday.

Only an hour of play was possible between lunch and tea as South Africa reached 39 for no wicket, a lead of 33.

There had been an earlier stoppage of two hours, which included the lunch break.

England wicketkeeper Matt Prior earlier gave his team a six-run first innings lead with a fluent innings of 68 off 89 balls.

England were bowled out for 425 shortly before lunch. South Africa were five for no wicket in their second innings when lightning and rain drove the players off the field three balls into what would probably have been the last over before lunch.

England lost top scorer Kevin Pietersen to the second ball of the day when he was trapped leg before wicket by Morne Morkel without adding to his overnight score of 149.

But Prior took over the attacking role played by Pietersen on Saturday, cracking eight fours before he was ninth man out, top-edging a sweep against leg-spinner Imran Tahir to deep fine leg.

Tim Bresnan helped Prior add 45 for the seventh wicket before Tahir wrapped up the innings, taking the last three wickets at a cost of nine runs to finish with figures of three for 92.

South African captain Smith took the field with his left knee strapped after suffering an injury late on Saturday.

He did not appear to be hampered in his running between wickets as he and Rudolph batted watchfully against disciplined bowling under a heavily overcast sky before a second thundershower moved in.

Rudolph was promoted in the order in place of first innings century maker Alviro Petersen, who did not field because of a hamstring injury and will be unable to bat until five wickets have fallen.

South Africa suffered a further injury blow when all-rounder Jacques Kallis could not take the field on Sunday because of back spasms. – AFP


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