Bad light curtails an exciting day's play
by Jinu Sabastian

Ground:Kingsmead, Durban
Scorecard:South Africa v England
Player:GC Smith, JH Kallis
Event:England in South Africa 2009/10

DateLine: 26th December 2009


England and South Africa were once again involved in an intense day’s play before bad light brought an end to the day’s proceedings.


Graeme Smith had no hesitation in electing to bat first after winning the toss and soon he was left wondering whether the decision was a good one or not. England named an unchanged side that survived at Centurion while South Africa brought in a fit Dale Steyn instead of de Wet. Anderson struck first for England when he got one to curl away from Ashwell Prince (2) who did well to edge to third slip where Swann took the catch. Smith and Amla dug in to repel the English bowling attack as runs were hard to come by. Amla fought hard for 22 balls for his two runs before a full length from Broad trapped the elegant right-hander at the crease as South Africa slipped to 10 for 2 in 9.4 overs.


Smith was joined by Kallis in the middle and the two fought hard to keep the English bowlers at bay. Kallis was the more fluent of the two as he was able to find the boundaries while Smith got his first boundary in his 63rd delivery he faced. Kallis put away a brace of short balls from Stuart Broad which were cut and pulled to the fence, and reached his half-century from 94 deliveries with a rare false shot through slips as Trott induced an unlikely edge. Smith on the other hand was determined not to give away his wicket despite being rapped on his fingers by a rising Anderson delivery. He had two lucky escapes, first on 45 - when Collingwood at slip couldn't hold onto a low chance - and then on 53, when he was trapped plumb in front of middle. England opted not to go for the review, but replays suggested there might have been a thick inside-edge.


The pair added 150 runs in 45.5 overs before Kallis was dismissed as Swann was the one who got the wicket. Kallis was lured forward as he edged a flighted one from the off spinner to slips where Collingwood did nothing g wrong to hold onto the chance. Kallis made a counterattacking 75 in 132 balls with seven crisp hits to the fence. Tragedy struck the hosts when skipper Smith (75, 186 balls, 9x4) was involved in an awful run-out with de Villiers. More tragedy befell South Africans when Duminy (4, 9 balls) was trapped leg before by Onions before bad light forced the play to be stopped.


The umpires felt that the conditions were too gloomy for the play to be continued and offered the light to the batsmen who immediately accepted it. Strauss did his best to convince the umpires to continue but to no avail. South Africa at the close of play were 175 for the loss of five wickets in 61 overs.


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