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Proteas seize advantage against England

England's top order capitulated after lunch on the second day of the third and final test.

Proteas star bowler Vernon Philander in the 567 Capetalk studios on 4 June 2012. Picture: Phumzile Malotana/EWN
Sport

LONDON - England's top order capitulated after lunch on the second day of the third and final test against South Africa as they slumped to 94 for four at Lord's on Friday, denting their hopes of levelling the series.

The Proteas, defending their modest first innings score of 309, took control through fast bowlers Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn, who both had two wickets at the interval.

Ian Bell was scrapping to keep England in the contest, on 20, while the recalled Jonny Bairstow had reached 19. Bell did not score a boundary until his 41st delivery to emphasise the struggle.

England lost Jonathan Trott (8), Alastair Cook (7) and James Taylor (10) in the session, to follow the wicket of captain Andrew Strauss (20) on the last ball before lunch. Morkel had two for 25 and Steyn two for 22 as they prospered under bright sunshine.

England must win the match to draw the series 1-1 after losing at The Oval by an innings and 12 runs, though South Africa, with runs on the scoreboard, are well placed to close out the series and leapfrog England to the top of the world rankings.

Trott was lbw to Steyn after moving across his stumps too far, though umpire Kumar Dharmasena's decision to give him not out was overruled. Trott was sent on his way by third umpire Rod Tucker after the South Africans requested a review. Replays showed the whole of the ball hitting the leg stump.

The score of 38 for two soon became 39 for three when Cook chased a wide delivery from Steyn to give Jacques Kallis a simple catch at second slip. Cook had looked out of sorts throughout his innings, often playing and missing.

Taylor, in just his second test, edged Morkel low down to Graeme Smith at first slip to reduce the hosts to 54 for four, which was the treacherous score that South Africa had found themselves on the first morning before they rallied.

Strauss had been dismissed on the last ball before the lunch break by Morkel, who had managed to bring the ball back down the famous Lord's slope.

England finished off South Africa's innings by taking the final three wickets after they resumed on 262 for seven. Number eight Vernon Philander achieved a test best 61, the joint top score of the Proteas innings, before he was the last man out, stumped by wicketkeeper Matt Prior off spinner Graeme Swann.

Prior finished with six dismissals in the innings, including five catches, while Steven Finn claimed four for 75.

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