South Africa rebounded against England today and reached 86-1 at stumps on the second day of the opening cricket Test, trailing by 299 runs.
The hosts resumed this morning on 267-3 at the Oval in London but the visitors restricted them to 385 by taking seven wickets for 118 runs. Only Matt Prior, with 60, made an impression on the Proteas’ bowlers today.
James Anderson then made an early breakthrough for the hosts this afternoon, trapping Alviro Petersen leg-before-wicket for no score with only one run on the board. Rain interrupted play for more than 90 minutes before South Africa resumed on 27-1 and reached the close without losing another wicket.
Captain Graeme Smith, in his 100th Test, and Hashim Amla ended on 37 and 47, respectively. England captain Andrew Strauss, fielding in the slips, had a catching chance off Amla but couldn’t hold onto the ball with his left hand.
This morning, most of England’s batsmen lacked assurance against a revitalized Proteas attack.
Alastair Cook added only one run before he was bowled by Dale Steyn, finishing on 115 after his 20th Test century. Soon afterward, Steyn dismissed Ravi Bopara, caught behind by AB de Villiers without scoring.
Then Jacques Kallis struck in his first over, bowling Ian Bell for 13 to leave England wobbling at 284-6. Tim Bresnan dragged a ball from Imran Tahir onto his stumps after scoring eight and England reached 326-7 at lunch.
Stuart Broad was out for 16, and Prior was caught by De Villiers off Morne Morkel. Finally, Anderson was another victim of Morkel, who finished with 4-72 as the innings ended just before 2:45 p.m. local time.
South Africa, the No. 3 Test team in International Cricket Council rankings, could leapfrog No. 1 England by winning the three-match series, which continues with games at Leeds and at Lord’s in London.