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South Africa Reaches 262-7 on First Day of Final England Test

South Africa recovered to reach 262-7 at stumps on the opening day of the third and final cricket Test against England as it seeks to replace the hosts at the top of the world rankings.

Vernon Philander is on 46 and Dale Steyn has 21 at Lord’s in London. James Anderson and Steven Finn took three wickets each and wicketkeeper Matt Prior had four dismissals.

The visitors won the toss and slumped to 54-4 before lunch. First Anderson had captain Graeme Smith caught behind for 14 runs, then Prior also caught Alviro Petersen (22) and Jacques Kallis (3) off Finn, who bowled Hashim Amla for 13.

AB de Villiers and Jacques Rudolph put on 51 for the fifth wicket before Anderson dismissed De Villiers for 27, leaving the visitors on 105-5. Rudolph and JP Duminy then added 58 runs and Graeme Swann broke through, bowling Rudolph for 42.

After a partnership of 72, Anderson made it 235-7 when Duminy, on 61, edged to Prior shortly after England took the new ball. Anderson took 3-58 and Finn had figures of 3-68.

South Africa leads 1-0 and will replace England as the No. 1 team in the International Cricket Council Test rankings with a series victory.

England captain Andrew Strauss is playing in his 100th Test after the buildup to the match was overshadowed by controversy surrounding Kevin Pietersen.

The South African-born batsman was dropped by England after he sent text messages to opposing players. He’s apologized to Strauss and his team for what he described as “what you might call provocative texts” that were meant as “banter between close friends.”

The texts contained “less than flattering” comments about Strauss and his teammates, the Daily Mail reported.

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