Amla joins the party as South Africa deny England

Published: Monday, July 14, 2008, 22:30 [IST]
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London: Hashim Amla became the sixth batsman in the match to score a century as he saw South Africa to the safety of a draw against England in the first Test at Lord's here Monday.

The Proteas, following-on, were 393 for three, a lead of 47, when captain Graeme Smith and England counterpart Michael Vaughan agreed a draw with a minimum of 19 overs left in the opening match of this four-Test series.

Amla was 104 not out and first innings centurion Ashwell Prince nine not out as, for the sixth successive match since Australia's victory in 2005, a Lord's Test ended in stalemate.


South Africa kept England in the field for nearly 11-and-a-half hours in their second innings alone and several members of the hosts' attack looked tired men come the finish - a concerning sight with just a three-day break before the second Test starts at Headingley on Friday.

There was also a worrying moment for England when paceman Stuart Broad appeared to turn his ankle in a foothold after tea.

Proteas opener Neil McKenzie was the biggest thorn in England's side on Monday while making 138 in nine hours and 14 minutes at the crease which saw him face 446 balls with 16 boundaries.

Monty Panesar had taken four for 74 as South Africa were bowled out for 247 in their first innings.

But it was a different story for the left-arm spinner second time around as his 60 overs, the most he'd ever bowled in a Test innings, failed to yield a wicket.

Amla, 88 not out at tea, completed his fifth hundred in 26 Tests and first against England with his 14th boundary, an elegant late-cut four off medium-pacer Paul Collingwood, in 231 balls.

It was also the 25-year-old's third hundred in three first-class matches this tour after his 172 and 161 in warm-up fixtures against Somerset and Middlesex respectively.

The 32-year-old McKenzie, who batted after lunch with a runner because of a groin strain, had added just seven runs to his score when he flat-footedly cut at James Anderson and edged through to wicket-keeper Tim Ambrose.

However, a South Africa spokesman said an intial assessment by the medical staff was that McKenzie would be fit to play at Headingley.

McKenzie, having shared a double century stand with Smith, who made 107 on Sunday, added 125 for the second wicket with Amla.

Left-arm quick Ryan Sidebottom, bowling despite a stiff back, gave home fans another moment to cheer when he clean bowled the experienced Jacques Kallis for 13 with an excellent yorker - a delivery, which curiously, England rarely used.

New batsman Prince, who made 101 in the first innings was given a reprieve when his flashing drive off Broad was put down by Alastair Cook, diving to his left at a wide second slip.

South Africa resumed Monday on 242 for one after Smith was the only batsman dismissed during the whole of Sunday's play.

They were still well adrift of England's first innings total of 593 for eight declared, which featured Ian Bell's Test-best 199 and South Africa-born Kevin Pietersen's 152 in his first Test innings against the Proteas.

Both McKenzie and Amla were bombarded by a succession of short-pitched deliveries from the seamers, with Vaughan deploying a leg-slip and leg-gully, but all to no avail.

And with every wicketless over on a batting-friendly pitch, the case for the recall of fit-again all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, a genuine quick grew stronger and he was named after play in a 12-man squad for Headingley with reserve quick Chris Tremlett, who didn't play at Lord's, left out.


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