Prior: England still believe in victory

PA Sport
Matt Prior scored 68 on day four to give England hope

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Matt Prior scored 68 on day four to give England hope

Matt Prior insists England have not given up hope of winning the second Investec Test after rain and South Africa's openers repelled their push for victory on the penultimate day.

Kevin Pietersen failed to add to his overnight 149, but Matt Prior's counter-attacking 68 helped the hosts to 425 all out - a lead of just six. South Africa's batsmen, including Alviro Petersen were carrying injuries, but Graeme Smith makeshift opener Jacques Rudolph carried South Africa to 39 without loss from 17 overs.

Rain brought about an early finish at Headingley, and Prior though, told Sky Sports News: "We know that if we come in hard tomorrow and put them under pressure you never know what can happen. If we get a few early wickets we've got an opportunity to push hard and win."

Prior hailed Pietersen's impressive knock on Saturday, claiming the pressure is now on South Africa, who are ahead 1-0 in the series after flattening Andrew Strauss' side by an innings and 12 runs in the opening Test.

"We didn't enjoy the Oval much but this game has been far better. Hats off to South Africa, they're a very good team and they've played very good cricket so far," Prior said. "But I think the way we bounced back yesterday, KP's innings was superb and we went ahead of them today.

"I thought the way we went out and bowled was absolutely fantastic - Jimmy (James Anderson) and Broady (Stuart Broad) set it up perfectly. We were unlucky not to get a few nicks or a few wickets early on but the pressure is now on them.

"It's probably the first time in this series they've had to soak up a bit of pressure so if we can come in tomorrow and get a few early wickets then you never know what can happen."

The Sussex batsman addressed his role in the team, insisting he is content to bat at number seven with the lower order.

"As long as I'm scoring runs and contributing to the team then I'm happy," he added. "The balance of the side is far more important than any individual's preferences. There are times where you think 'I'd love to be out here a bit longer', but there you go.

"If I can contribute and play the role that's needed then that's where I'll play. It's a role I've had for a few years now so I am comfortable and quite enjoy batting with the tail."

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