LEEDS, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Imran Tahir of South Africa celebrates dismissing Matt Prior of England during day four of the 2nd Investec Test match between England and South Africa at Headingley on August 5, 2012 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Leeds – Matt Prior hit a fluent half-century as England gained a six-run first innings lead on the fourth day of the second Test against South Africa at Headingley on Sunday.

Prior hit 68 off 89 balls before 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 Graeme Smith took the field with his left knee strapped after suffering an injury late on Saturday.

He opened the batting with Jacques Rudolph, 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.

But all-rounder Jacques Kallis was missing in another injury blow for South Africa. He did not take the field on Sunday because of back spasms. – AFP