Petersen puts South Africa in control

PA Sport
Alviro Petersen bats during day two of the second Test

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Alviro Petersen bats during day two of the second Test

Alviro Petersen moved to a career-best 170 not out as South Africa again defied the best efforts of England's seam attack on the second morning of the second Investec Test.

Petersen went past his previous-best 156 with the second of successive fours guided wide of the slips to third-man off Tim Bresnan, as he and Jacques Rudolph's hard-working stand of 59 helped the tourists to a lunchtime 336 for six at Headingley.

The sixth-wicket pair needed plenty of skill, and a little fortune too, to come through a taxing hour-and-a-half intact against England's four-man pace attack.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad, starting with a ball only seven overs old, gave Petersen and Rudolph very little - and the result was six consecutive maidens to start the day.

In that time, there were plays and misses for both batsmen - Rudolph struggling most obviously against the moving ball, with cloud cover prevailing.

Petersen needed a second successful review against a Steve Davis lbw decision, having survived on 119 last night when Steven Finn was the bowler and then this morning before he had added to his overnight 124 - Hawkeye demonstrating that a delivery from Anderson would have passed high and wide of leg-stump.

South Africa had to be watchful, and even after a run-less first half-hour progress remained slow from a start-of-play 262.

But on a pitch compromising fluent batsmanship, and in conditions favouring the bowlers, every run was precious.

It was an irony lost on few, least of all Graeme Swann surely, that in the frontline off-spinner's absence for the first time in three-and-a-half years, part-timer Kevin Pietersen turned only his second delivery sharply and won a marginal third-umpire stumping decision to end Rudolph's 74-ball vigil on 19 runs.

There was still little doubt nonetheless that Petersen had ensured South Africa's advantage in a pivotal session, by batting through his fourth in succession.

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