Morkel and Steyn put Proteas on top

South Africa finished the opening day of the second Test against England on 101 for three, leaving it trailing by 102 runs on Friday.

updated: July 23, 2008 18:16 IST
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South Africa finished the opening day of the second Test against England on 101 for three, leaving it trailing by 102 runs on Friday.

On a pulsating day of cricket including a welcome return for Andrew Flintoff, South Africa bowled out England for 203 after captain Graeme Smith won the toss and put the home side into bat.

One of the more extraordinary aspects was the claimed catches by both sides that were turned down after consultation with the third umpire.

South Africa fielder AB de Villiers claimed a low catch off Andrew Strauss despite appearing to drop the ball.

Strauss was eventually given not out, after on-field umpires Billy Bowden and Daryl Harper spoke to Richard Kettleborough in the stands.

In the evening session at 76-3, Hashim Amla seemed to have chipped a catch to England captain Michael Vaughan and Amla walked off, only to be told to stay put by his teammates on the boundary, who had seen a television replay of the catch.

Amla was reprieved by the umpires and survived to the close.

The referrals were made despite the teams deciding before the series not to use them, with England against the idea of a tennis-like system in which the players call the shots.

"We actually did want referrals, we just didn't want the players doing the referring. We wanted the umpires doing the referring," England coach Peter Moores said. "The incidents were quite different.

"One catch was dropped and (AB) de Villiers has to decide if he had held it. It was his call. I thought it was a disappointing incident."

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said de Villiers apologized to Strauss.

"He took a lot of criticism from some England players at lunch, including Michael Vaughan," Arthur said. "It's funny how there is someone up there called mother cricket who doesn't sleep and she came back to haunt Michael Vaughan later in the day.

"AB is a very honest guy and he thought at the time it had gone from one hand to the other. It clearly hadn't and it looked pretty ugly. He was really upset about it."

South Africa's Neil McKenzie and Smith put on 51 for the first wicket. McKenzie was the first to fall, caught by Flintoff off James Anderson at second slip.

Smith hit a confident 44 before Flintoff picked up his first Test wicket in 19 months when he had the opener caught by Strauss.

In the rain-delayed morning session, England openers Andrew Strauss and Alastair Cook put on 26 before Cook was unluckily given out for 18 by umpire Billy Bowden. Morne Morkel's delivery clearly hit Cook's thigh pad on its way to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

Vaughan prodded at his seventh ball, bowled by Steyn, and edged a simple catch to Smith to depart without scoring.

One over after being saved by the replay, Strauss edged a ball to Boucher and was out for 27, leaving England reeling at 62-3.

After lunch, Kevin Pietersen got overconfident and was caught at first slip by Smith off Dale Steyn, for 45 from 46 balls.

Wicketkeeper Tim Ambrose played a couple of confident shots before edging a delivery from Ntini to Mark Boucher for 12.

That brought Flintoff to the crease and the allrounder, playing his first Test in 18 months after ankle and side strain injuries, received a warm welcome from the crowd.

However, Ian Bell was bowled by Jacques Kallis for 31 to make it 150-6 and Steyn then had Flintoff caught behind for 17.

Stuart Broad was caught by de Villiers off Morkel to leave England 181-8 and Monty Panesar became Morkel's fourth victim when he edged a ball to de Villiers and departed without scoring.

That brought newcomer Darren Pattinson to the crease. After a brief flurry of runs, Pattinson was caught behind by Boucher - his fifth catch of the innings - off Steyn as South Africa wrapped up the innings.