Updated: 18/08/2012 16:07 | By pa.press.net

England finish with small lead



Graeme Swann's unbeaten 37 helped England secure a small first-innings lead at Lord's

Graeme Swann's unbeaten 37 helped England secure a small first-innings lead at Lord's

England recovered from Jonny Bairstow's near miss, just short of his maiden Test century, to post a marginal first-innings lead in their must-win Lord's battle against South Africa.

Bairstow fell for 95 just before lunch on day three but Graeme Swann still eked out enough runs with the tail - including 32 for the last wicket with Steven Finn - to poke England's noses six in front, as they were bowled out for 315.

By tea, South Africa had responded with a cautious 33 without loss in 15 overs.

Bairstow, playing in this match after England dropped Kevin Pietersen in controversial circumstances, dug the hosts out of trouble yesterday. But he got stuck in the 90s and was bowled playing across the line at Morne Morkel (four for 80).

Only victory will do in this final Investec Test if England are to share the series and stop South Africa taking away their world number one status.

Bairstow and sixth-wicket partner Matt Prior saw England through the first eight overs, to the second new ball - but no further.

Prior edged a drive to slip, off Vernon Philander's very first delivery after the new ball was taken.

Philander continued to find exaggerated swing against Stuart Broad, but both the new batsman and Bairstow found their scoring opportunities to take England ever closer to South Africa's total - until the left-hander fended a ball from Dale Steyn (four for 94) straight to short-leg.

With Bairstow gone, his 196-ball stay including 15 deliveries on 95, it seemed first-innings parity would be beyond England.

But Swann had other ideas, and received enough support from numbers 10 and 11 James Anderson and Finn to put the hosts in minor credit.

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

latest cricket news

  • Mark Stoneman, pictured, hailed Gareth Breese

    Durham captain Mark Stoneman hailed "a fairytale ending" to Gareth Breese's career after the all-rounder hit the winning runs to beat Warwickshire in the Royal London Cup final.

  • Ashwell Prince, pictured, has revealed he did not consider there to be a racist element to the verbal abuse delivered to him by Andrew Gale

    Lancashire batsman Ashwell Prince has revealed he did not consider there to be a racist element to the verbal abuse delivered to him by Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale.

  • Derbyshire have been given permission to improve facilities at their 3aaa County Ground

    Derbyshire have received planning permission from Derby city council for the first stage of development at The 3aaa County Ground.

  • England all-rounder Moeen Ali has been nominated for Professional Player of the Year at the inaugural Asian Cricket Awards.

    England all-rounder Moeen Ali has been nominated for Professional Player of the Year at the inaugural Asian Cricket Awards.

  • James Sutherland has agreed a new deal with Cricket Australia

    Cricket Australia has secured the future of chief executive James Sutherland by handing him an open-ended deal to replace his fixed-term contract.

  • Captain Chris Rogers' unbeaten double-century saved Middlesex at Taunton

    Chris Rogers' rearguard double-century rescued a precious stalemate for Middlesex against Somerset in their battle to avoid relegation from LV= County Championship Division One.

  • 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.

  • Ben Stokes jumps for joy after Gareth Breese, left, hit the winning runs in his final Durham game

    Gareth Breese enjoyed a fairytale finish to his cricket career as Durham won the Royal London One-Day Cup after beating Warwickshire by three wickets in a nail-biting final at Lord's.

  • Jonathan Trott has not given up hope of playing for England again

    Jonathan Trott has credited Dr Steve Peters with helping to get his career back on track after stress had him doubting if he wanted to carry on playing at all.

  • Mark Stoneman has backed Ben Stokes, pictured, to be the difference in Saturday's final

    Durham captain Mark Stoneman is backing all-rounder Ben Stokes to make the difference in the Royal London Cup final against Warwickshire at Lord's on Saturday.

  • Andrew Gale is reportedly set to face an ECB disciplinary hearing next week

    Yorkshire have made it clear they will present a staunch defence of their captain Andrew Gale against a reported charge of a racist offence.

  • 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.