Updated: 04/08/2012 06:15 | By pa.press.net

Broad: Match is evenly poised



Stuart Broad finished with figures of three for 96

Stuart Broad finished with figures of three for 96

England still believe they can win the second Investec Test at Headingley and level the series against South Africa.

Those prospects were far from obvious after day two of a contest which is forecast to be interrupted significantly by rain. However, Stuart Broad was optimistic that, as long as the hosts can replicate the determination and skill shown by Alviro Petersen (182) in the Proteas' 419 all out, there may still be some room for manoeuvre.

After England had replied with 48 for none in a final session shortened by bad light and then rain, Broad said: "It's pretty even, I think. Being none down for us was vital tonight, and tomorrow morning the first hour will be huge - because we all have one job, and that's to bat as big and as long as we possibly can."

To that end, on Saturday Broad will be pinning his hopes on one of England's front-line batsmen repeating the heroics Alastair Cook produced at Edgbaston last year. There, Cook piled up a career-best 294 in a wide-margin victory over India which first gave England their world number one position.

"We need one of those Edgbaston knocks - 600 and then put South Africa under pressure on the last day," said Broad, who finished with three for 96 on Friday. "I think this wicket will eventually get lower, and that's where the four quick bowlers can come into their own - hitting the pitch, and the ball going underground."

Broad gave Petersen due credit for a painstaking, near nine-hour innings - which prevented England achieving their Plan A, of bowling South Africa out cheaply and going on to dominate the match.

"There's always that expectation and pressure when you win the toss and bowl, that the opposition team won't get 400," he said. "But wicket-wise, I don't think it was that dangerous to bat on. It took a fantastic knock from Petersen, with 180. He played and missed a huge amount, but obviously played fantastically well to get there."

At least Petersen has shown England how it is done and Broad added: "We need to learn from what the South Africans did as well. We're in no rush here with the bat; we can just settle in, take our time and try to build as big a total as we can. Our number one priority with the bat is to try to be patient, and look as big as we can."

There was a moment of irony when England, searching for a breakthrough on Friday morning, turned to the part-time off-spin of Kevin Pietersen - having left out specialist Graeme Swann - and saw him find sharp turn almost immediately to have Jacques Rudolph stumped.

However, Broad said: "I think Rudolph was quite unlucky - because it was the only ball that turned all day, wasn't it? Nothing else really did anything. There were a few raised eyebrows when that ball did turn. But nothing else really threatened, so I don't think there are too many panic alarms."

related stories on msn

0Comments
Get the Bing Sports App for Windows 8 (© Microsoft)

latest cricket news

  • Chris Rushworth's astounding match figures of 15 for 95 were the best in the County Championship for 14 years

    Chris Rushworth produced a remarkable performance with 15 wickets in 20 overs as Durham made startlingly short work of relegated Northamptonshire in LV= County Championship Division One action.

  • Jonathan Trott has been in fine form since his return from a stress-related condition

    Warwickshire batsman Jonathan Trott has revealed he is ready for an England recall.

  • Josh Cobb is on the move to Northamptonshire

    Josh Cobb has continued the Leicestershire exodus by signing a two-year contract with neighbours Northamptonshire.

  • Martin Crowe took to Twitter to reveal his cancer has returned

    Former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe has revealed his cancer has returned.

  • Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit a century on Tuesday morning before the West Indies bowled Bangladesh out in the afternoon to win the second Test

    The West Indies wrapped up a 296-run victory against Bangladesh inside four days to win the second Test in St Lucia and secure their first Test series victory in 18 months.

  • Michael Clarke has been ruled out of Australia's three ODIs against Pakistan in the UAE

    Australia captain Michael Clarke will miss next month's one-day international series against Pakistan because of the hamstring injury which ruled him out of much of the recent tour to Zimbabwe.

  • Varun Chopra is Warwickshire's new club captain

    Varun Chopra is to become Jim Troughton's official successor as Warwickshire captain.

  • Former ICC World Twenty20 winner Shahid Afridi will captain Pakistan in the 2016 tournament

    Misbah-ul-Haq will captain Pakistan at next year's World Cup, and Shahid Afridi at the 2016 ICC World Twenty20.

  • Preston Mommsen, left, will lead Scotland on their tour of Australia and New Zealand

    Preston Mommsen has been named Scotland captain for the upcoming tour of Australia and New Zealand.

  • Alex Cusack, right, is to join Ireland's pre-World Cup trip to Australia and New Zealand

    Emerging seamer Peter Chase and fit-again Alex Cusack are both part of an 18-man Ireland squad bound for Australia and New Zealand this month.

  • James Hildreth hit a big hundred for Somerset as Middlesex found plenty of trouble in Taunton

    This year's LV= County Championship ups and downs may be finalised only in the last week of the season thanks to Middlesex and Hampshire's travails in their respective divisions.

  • Alex Wakely will be Northamptonshire's club captain next summer

    Alex Wakely is to replace Stephen Peters as captain of relegated Northamptonshire next season.

  • Captain Andrew Gale, left, has his eye on more County Championship glory for Yorkshire

    Andrew Gale has the perfect remedy for mixed emotions over his 11th-hour ban from lifting Yorkshire's County Championship trophy - he will just have to lead them to the title again next year.

  • Shivnarine Chanderpaul reached 63 not out on the third day of play against Bangladesh

    The West Indies stayed on course for another comprehensive victory after the third day of play in the second Test against Bangladesh.

  • Shivnarine Chanderpaul, pictured, hit an unbeaten 84

    An unbeaten 84 from Shivnarine Chanderpaul and five for 33 from Kemar Roach put the West Indies in control on the second day of the second and final Test against Bangladesh in St Lucia.