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Boucher helps South Africa gain sizeable first innings lead

Published: Friday, August 1, 2008, 17:32 [IST]
 
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Birmingham: Wicketkeeper Mark Boucher steered South Africa to an 83-run first innings lead on the third day of the third Test against England at Edgbaston on Friday.

Boucher made 40 as South Africa stretched their first innings total to 314 before he was last man out.

Rain started falling almost immediately after the end of the innings. An early lunch was taken before England could start their second innings.

Boucher was mainly responsible for South Africa adding 58 for the loss of their last four wickets.

South Africa suffered an early blow when Ashwell Prince, who had made centuries in the first two Tests, drove at a wide ball from Ryan Sidebottom in the second over of the day to be caught behind for 39.

Andrew Flintoff, whose fiery spell late on the second day brought England back into the game, was denied his fifth wicket of the innings in the next over when Boucher, on 12, was dropped by Paul Collingwood, diving far to his right at second slip.

The ball would have gone straight to the fielder if a third slip had been in place.

The second new ball was taken but Morne Morkel batted brightly to make 18 before he was leg before wicket to James Anderson, to be followed almost immediately by Andre Nel, who was bowled by an in-swinging delivery from Sidebottom.

With last man Makhaya Ntini at the crease, Boucher went for his shots and hit three fours in an over from Sidebottom.

He managed to keep the strike when he hooked the last ball of the over to long leg where Monty Panesar spilled a chance before he struck Anderson high towards deep cover where England captain Michael Vaughan pulled off a spectacular diving catch.

Flintoff finished with four for 89, while Sidebottom and Anderson finished with three wickets each.

Brief Scores (at lunch, D-3):

England Ist innings 231 vs South Africa 314 all out (Neil Mckenzie 72, Jacques Kallis 64, Mark Boucher 40, Ashwell Prince 39; Flintoff 4/89, Sidebottom 3/81, Anderson 3/72).

AFP

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