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England in trouble after Proteas strike early

cricket Updated: Jan 17, 2010 00:48 IST
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South Africa’s fast bowlers struck three times in England’s second innings as the home team pushed for a series-levelling victory on the third day of the fourth and final Test at the Wanderers Stadium.

England were reeling at 48 for three when bad light stopped play, still 195 runs short of avoiding an innings defeat.

Morne Morkel had Alastair Cook caught at first slip by Graeme Smith in the fourth over and Dale Steyn produced a superb delivery which swung away late and caused Jonathan Trott to edge a catch to AB de Villiers at third slip.

The umpires took the players off for bad light with the total on 22 for two but they were soon back for another half hour of play during which new cap Wayne Parnell trapped England captain Andrew Strauss leg before wicket shortly before the day’s third and final stoppage.

South Africa earlier declared after piling up 423 for seven in their first innings.

De Villiers and Mark Boucher shared an attacking century partnership with De Villiers riding his luck to make 58 before a thunderstorm hit the ground 50 minutes after lunch.

But the storm passed and South Africa were able to take giant strides towards squaring a series they trail 1-0.