Cook, Collingwood plough England ahead
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter

Scorecard:South Africa v England
Player:PD Collingwood, AN Cook, IR Bell
Event:England in South Africa 2009/10

DateLine: 28th December 2009


Aided by a painstaking century by opener Alastair Cook, England have a significant advantage in the Test match against South Africa.


This was Cook's first hundred since May and a fighting 91 from Collingwood made sure England finished Day three at 386 for five in reply to South Africa's 343 at Kingsmead.


Cook's innings was studded with 11 hits to the fence. The opener shared a stand of 142 with Collingwood as South Africa went wicketless in the second session. Then late in the day an unbeaten 55 from Ian Bell made sure the tourists finished with a 43-run lead at stumps.


Jonathan Trott, fell to the seventh ball of the day to Morne Morkel, edging one behind the wickets for Mark Boucher to take a good catch. In walked Kevin Pietersen to play his first Test innings at what was once his home ground.


He got off the mark of the ninth ball he faced, but off the mark he was in great style courtesy a drive for four off Morkel steered expertly wide of mid-on. He though fell soon, LBW to the left-arm spin of Harris.


Cook who was struggling initially got the breather when Harris was introduced and it was the spinner who started to give him a few runs here and there. The left-hander successfully avoided Amiesh Saheba's decision to give him caught out at short-leg for 64 off JP Duminy.


Among the other frontline bowlers, Morkel (three for 69) was easily the best of the lot on a pacy pitch which was always likely to be at its best for batting today. Cook was finally dismissed via a good delivery by Morkel from round the wicket which held its line and took the edge for a neat catch at second slip by Kallis.


At the fag end of the day it was Bell who produced easily the most fluent innings as England eased beyond parity to end the day.


Collingwood though fell short of the three figure mark, as an attempted cut at Duminy's off-spin resulted in a thin edge behind.


South Africa, who had a chastening experience in the field, were unable to help themselves because of their fielding.


Late in the day dropping Matt Prior for 6 at short-leg further did not help matters. Prior is the sort of batsman who could hurt the hosts much more tomorrow if not dismissed early.


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