Cow Corner

England staring at defeat

Cow Corner

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Nightwatchman Anderson survives a very strong LBW shout to Ntini, but England make it through to the close. The wicket of Vaughan is a huge blow to the home side: they have to bat for at least four sessions to save this match, and have lost two of only five batsmen. 

England 50-2 (23 overs): DISASTER FOR ENGLAND! VAUGHAN EDGES BEHIND! In the penultimate over of the day, Vaughan nicks Ntini through to Boucher! 

England 45-1 (20 overs) England come into the final four overs of the day just one down. A decent start for the home side, but they have a long way to go to save the match. 

England 39-1 (17 overs): The ball is still darting around just a little off the seam, but Vaughan and Cook have been very disciplined in what they play and what they leave, and the balls they have played at, they have done so with soft hands. 

England 33-1 (14 overs): Steyn has had seven overs, and threatened in most of them, but he has just lost his line a bit in the last couple. Morkel is into the attack, but Cook and Vaughan have been comfortable in the last 15 minutes. The light is holding up, and we still officially have 10 overs to play this evening. 

England 30-1 (11 overs): Steyn takes the edge of Cook's bat, but the ball just doesn't carry to Boucher. Lots of pressure on the England pair at the moment; Steyn is roaring in at 87mph, which is about the quickest we have seen in this match so far. 

England 22-1 (8 overs):  Vaughan is hit on the gloves by Steyn, seems to cause him some discomfort. Cook pulls hard in front of square for four, before Vaughan sees off an over from Ntini. Still potentially 16 overs left today.

England 13-1 (6 overs): Vaughan has come in; Steyn gives him a real working over in his first over, beating the bat a couple of times with out-swingers before the England skipper gets off the mark with a clip for four off his legs. 

England 3-1 (4 overs): ONE DOWN! SOUTH AFRICA STRIKE, STRAUSS IS GONE! Ntini sends one down back of a length, Strauss can't resist a nibble and Boucher takes a simple catch! Disasterous start for the home side.  

England 2-0 (3 overs) : Solid start for the England openers; Steyn and Ntini are getting a little swing with the new ball, but nothing too alarming at present.

England 0-0: Here come Cook and Strauss...plenty of time left in the day, well over an hour to try and see off the new ball... 

South Africa 522 (176 overs) Panesar picks up the final wicket! Ntini can't resist a swipe at a wide one, and KP takes a simple catch at cover. England's ordeal is finally over. Two days in the they face two days trying to save it with the bat...

South Africa 522-9 (175.3 overs) DREADFUL! Pattinson puts down an absolute dolly at mid-off as Steyn drags a Broad short one straight to him. Vaughan purses his lips in disappointment...but let's face it, the England skipper has put down some shockers in his time. 

South Africa 511-9 (173 overs): ANOTHER! Harris holes out to Anderson, running in from long-on, as the batsman attempts to slog-sweep Panesar. England might be batting again shortly as South Africa look to finish their innings with a flourish... 

South Africa 511-8 (172 overs): STUNNING CATCH! AB DE VILLIERS GOES, CAUGHT SUPERBLY AT FIRST SLIP BY FLINTOFF! Broad pitches one up, AB is tempted into the drive; he edges, and Flintoff takes a wonderful low catch, diving to his left. De Villiers goes for 174. 

South Africa 509-7 (171 overs): Harris survives a loud LBW shout from Panesar before coming down the wicket and lofting him for a six over long-on next ball. Confident stroke from the big tail-ender. The partnership is up to 83 from 132 balls. 

South Africa 491-7 (168 overs) Successive boundaries through the off-side for de Villiers from Anderson, who is still trying to pitch the ball up as he searches for any swing that might be in the air. de Villiers is just nine runs short of his second-highest Test score of 178, against the West Indies in 2005. 

South Africa 480-7 (167 overs): Off we go again. The players are out for the evening session; South Africa's lead is up to 277 - Smith may be planning to stick England in for twenty minutes this evening. OOOH! Harris gets a painful blow on the right hand when one rises off a length from Pattinson. 

South Africa 480-7 (166 overs): TEA: England make a couple of breakthroughs in the afternoon session, but de Villiers is making sure that the tailenders don't do anything stupid. England have taken the new ball just before tea, but the tourists reach the interval in great shape. 

South Africa 471-7 (164 overs): AB has passed 150, while his stand with Harris is up to 44 - of which the tailender has provided just nine. There have been no real fireworks; the run-rate is only 2.5 over the last ten overs. South Africa are just content to bat England out of the match. 

South Africa 461-7 (161 overs): Good over from Monty, who beats Harris' outside edge with a beauty from around the wicket. Still the South African spinner bats on, though; his partnership with AB is up to a very useful 34, as Vaughan turns to another spin option, Pietersen... 

South Africa 450-7 (158 overs) AB is playing with a bit more freedom now; he drives Flintoff through cover for two...Vaughan has got a man out in the deep now...Flintoff is still cranking his pace up to around 86mph, despite his Herculean workload. 

South Africa 448-7 (155 overs): Flintoff is pounding in to his 38th over. Poor fellow. More brollies going up. Harris seems to have ridden out the early storm, and is providing some solid support for AB. 

South Africa 436-7 (151 overs): England can sense blood with Harris at the crease...he is playing Panesar with relative ease, but Anderson has ripped a couple past him. 

South Africa 427-7 (148 overs) : AND ANOTHER! Morkel is bowled by Panesar, who gets one to turn in and beat the bat as the big left-hander attempts to drive through the off-side! Double breakthrough for England brings Harris to the crease.

South Africa 422-6 (145 overs): GOT HIM! SLICE OF LUCK, BOUCHER DRAGS ON! Anderson bangs one in short, Boucher rocks back and tries to pull...but only gets a bottom-edge in to his stumps! He goes for 34, and England are into the bowlers at last!

South Africa 404-5 (142 overs): Boucher hasn't had the most comfortable time since arriving at the crease, but he is already up to 25 not out and he and de Villiers have just passed their fifty partnership.

South Africa 394-5 (139 overs): There is a spot of rain in the air...a few brollies are going up in the crowd. Nothing too much interesting the umpires at the moment. 

South Africa 390-5 (137 overs): A couple of let-offs for South Africa early in the afternoon session; first Boucher pushes hard at a Pattinson delivery, the ball stops in the pitch a little and pops back up to the bowler, who just can't take the return catch  at full-length; then Boucher edges high through a vacant third slip, between second slip and gully. Tough luck on England. 

South Africa 384-5 (135 overs) The players are back after their lunch, and the afternoon session is underway... 

South Africa 384-5 (134 overs): LUNCH: England remove Prince, but de Villiers continues to anchor the South Africa innings. England face another long day in the field, before two even longer days batting to save the match. 

South Africa  377-5 (131 overs): Flintoff has got de Villiers on the rack here...two snorters whistle past the outside edge; Freddie has a little chat with the batsman, who has become stuck on 99...Monty comes into the attack for Pattinson at the other end...BUT AB GETS HIS TON EVENTUALLY! The batsman nicks a single off Flintoff to bring up his sixth Test century.

South Africa 375-5 (128 overs): de Villiers is stuck on 99 for quite some time...Flintoff gets one to nip back at him and rap him on the pads... 

South Africa 371-5 (125 overs): Boucher is the new batsman; he's another doughty character who England are going to have to work incredibly hard to remove. AB is just a couple of runs from his ton, but doesn't seem to be showing many signs of nerves... 

South Africa 360-5 (121 overs): Suddenly, and inexplicably, there is some movement off this flat Headingley pitch; Pattinson is in the middle of a decent spell here; de Villiers gets an edge to a rising Anderson delivery, the ball popping over first slip for four. 

South Africa 355-5 (119 overs): WICKET! FINALLY! PATTINSON! The England new-boy goes around the wicket to Prince, just gets one to nip away and Ambrose takes the catch off the edge! England are delighted, and Pattinson in particular! Prince goes for a fine 149. 

South Africa 350-4 (116 overs): Pattinson is into the attack for the first time today; I hope he hasn't been reading the newspapers this morning - it might be enough to send a man into therapy. 

South Africa 339-4 (114 overs) de Villiers' four through cover brings up a landmark - his partnership of 196 with Prince is a record 5th wicket partnership for South Africa against England. Everyone loves a record, don't they?

South Africa 332-4 (112 overs):  Appeal! Anderson gets one to nip away...the ball strikes something on the way through to Strauss at first slip...the England side claim bat, the umpire says pad. Correct decision. Although perhaps the appeal was for LBW? Either way, it wasn't out.

South Africa 329-4 (109 overs): arviemail is back, everyone! YAY! Where have you been, my friend? Had a little holiday, did you? Had a, had a little time off work? Booked a little time of work, eh? Went on a little trip? Little trip overseas? Bit of a beach holiday, eh? Packed your Speedos and sunglasses for a beach holiday? Had a little arviemail-time? Just you and a good book, eh? You and your thoughts? Had a little think about things, eh? Tried to figure some things out, on the beach there? Tried to work out where it all went wrong? Just you, your book and your Speedos, on the beach there?

South Africa 329-4 (108 overs): Vaughan starts with Anderson and Flintoff, his two best bowlers by a distance yesterday. The effects of the new ball have worn off now; there is little to encourage the England side - especially considering the value that Prince and de Villiers put on their wicket.

South Africa 322-4 (106 overs): The players are out and ready for action; England come bounding out with great optimism - I predict that will have worn off after 10 fruitless overs... 

10.38 - The weather forecast is good for the rest of the day; I guess South Africa will look to bat for most of the day, building a lead of 300 or more before sticking England in and having six or seven sessions to bowl them out.  

10.25 - Good morn! It's bright and windy at Headingley as England and South Africa prepare for the third day in the second Test. The tourists are mauling the hosts like a wild bear attacking a small child; how are England going to respond?

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