Proteas suffer early blows in Lord~~s Test

Published: Saturday, July 12, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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London: England removed three of South Africa's leading batsmen to leave the Proteas in a perilous position in the first Test at Lord's on Saturday.

South Africa, at lunch on the third day, were 78 for three, still needing a further 316 runs to avoid the follow-on target of 394, with Proteas captain Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis all out for single figure scores.

Neil McKenzie was 35 not out and Ashwell Prince 20 not out in the opening match of this four-Test series.

South Africa faced a daunting prospect in replying to England's first innings total of 593 for eight declared, which featured Ian's Bell's Test-best 199 and 152 from Kevin Pietersen in his first Test innings against the land of his birth.

The pressure was on the Proteas batsman, notably skipper Smith who had chosen to field after winning the toss and resumed on two not out, with McKenzie unbeaten on five in a total of seven without loss.

Five years ago, Smith made 259 at Lord's - the highest score by an overseas batsman in a Test at the 'home of cricket'.

But off Saturday's twelfth ball, a sharp James Anderson delivery squared up the left-hander and took the shoulder of the bat before lobbing gently to Bell, running round from gully.

Smith was out for eight and South Africa were 13 for one.

Amla had come into this Test on the back of scores of over 160 in both warm-up matches, against Somerset and Middlesex.

But having seen his helmet come off and nearly hit his wicket when he was on one, he played at a delivery from first change Stuart Broad he could have left outside stump and was caught behind for six.

South Africa were now 28 for two with tall fast bowler Broad, who struck a Test-best 76 on Friday, building on the pressure created by Anderson's opening spell of one wicket for four runs in seven overs with four maidens.

The collective accuracy of England's quicks was in marked contrast to the waywardness of their South African counterparts.

Ryan Sidebottom then got in on the act when the left-arm quick angled a delivery across Kallis, on seven, which took the outside edge and was brilliantly caught low down by a diving Andrew Strauss at first slip.

Prince hit back with some fine shots, including a cover-driven four off Broad, but the session belonged to England.


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