Nel strikes after solid England start

Published: Wednesday, July 30, 2008, 18:00 [IST]
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Andre Nel took two wickets in two balls to spoil a solid England start on the first day of the third Test against South Africa at Edgbaston on Wednesday.

Jacques Kallis followed up with the wicket of Kevin Pietersen as England lurched to 83 for three at lunch.

Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook put on 68 for the first wicket and England looked headed for a big total after winning the toss and batting on an easy-paced pitch.

But then Strauss stepped on his stumps as he played Nel to the leg side to be out hit wicket for 20.

Out-of-form England captain Michael Vaughan pushed forward to the first ball he faced and was given out caught behind by umpire Aleem Dar in response to a frenzied appeal by Nel, even though wicketkeeper Mark Boucher did not join in.

Vaughan looked surprised at the decision but replays indicated he might have got a faint edge to the ball.

Three overs later Pietersen tried to play Kallis to leg and the ball looped off his pad to Ashwell Prince at backward point. He was given out caught although the ball probably did not touch his bat.

Ironically he could have been given out leg before wicket as replays showed the ball would have hit his stumps.

Cook was unbeaten on 49 at lunch. He had trouble early on against opening bowler Morne Morkel but batted with increasing confidence as his innings progressed. He faced 86 balls and hit eight fours.

Nel, playing in his first match of the series in place of the injured Dale Steyn, came on as first change bowler and took several overs to find his rhythm before making his double strike.

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