England draw second test
England managed to wait out a draw at Headingly to keep the three-match test series with South Africa at 1-0.
The South Africans are still ahead and are the favourites to win the series, which would put them back as the number one ranked team at test match level.
England put in a much more spirited performance in this match than they did in the last, but a result was in doubt when overs on day four were extremely limited due to rain.
After another strong batting performance, putting 419 on the board, South Africa looked good for another win to put the series beyond doubt.
But England, and Kevin Pietersen in particular, put on a fantastic batting display, overtaking South Africa by six runs before being bowled out.
It could have been a different story if the weather hadn’t played a part, because the Proteas opener, Petersen, had a hamstring injury and came in to bat as number eight in the second innings, and England’s bowlers did a fantastic job of getting South Africa down to 258-9, leaving England with a 253 to win, unfortunately with only 39 overs to go.
If England had managed to bowl out South Africa with 60 or 70 overs to go, we might have been able to go on and win it, but the rain scuppered that plan.
The limited overs didn’t stop England from chasing down the big target though, and sent KP out with Cook to open the batting.
The charge was soon quashed when Prior was run out, leaving England with Trott and Bell at the crease, after Pietersen, Cook and Strauss were all dismissed, two players who probably aren’t capable of the explosive batting required to reach the target.
This performance will definitely boost England’s hopes for a positive result in the next test, to not only assure their ranking as world number ones, but also maintain their four-year unbeaten home run in test matches.