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
10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

latest cricket news

  • England coach Peter Moores, right, has reiterated his backing of captain Alastair Cook, left

    England stood by their united assurances that Alastair Cook is still the man to lead them forward, by confirming him as captain for the third Investec Test against India.

  • Kane Williamson has been suspended from bowling due to an illegal action

    New Zealand off-spinner Kane Williamson has been suspended from bowling due to an illegal action, the International Cricket Council has announced.

  • Jonathan Trott notched his first century since returning from illness

    Warwickshire's Jonathan Trott scored his first century since returning to cricket from illness but was unable to prevent Sussex seizing control of the contest in LV= County Championship Division One.

  • Hashim Amla's South Africa travel to Colombo looking to wrap up a 2-0 Test series victory

    South Africa captain Hashim Amla has warned his players to forget last week's opening Test victory against Sri Lanka on the eve of the second Test in Colombo.

  • The under-fire Alastair Cook has received support from Sourav Ganguly

    England captain Alastair Cook has found an unlikely supporter in former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, who believes the rest of the squad have failed to back their leader up when required.

  • Stuart Broad is one of several players with a point to prove

    Peter Moores admits he has yet to figure out whether England's whitewash Ashes defeat has left him with a clutch of cricketers with their best days behind them.

  • Matt Prior has not yet closed the door on his England career

    Matt Prior remains as determined as ever to play for England but just wants to take time out to get 100 per cent fit.

  • James Anderson, pictured right, could miss his home Test at Emirates Old Trafford

    James Anderson faces the possibility of being banned from his home Test at Old Trafford after a date of August 1 was set for his International Cricket Council disciplinary hearing.

  • Ishant Sharma was India's star man at Lord's

    India paceman Ishant Sharma insists his side can give as good as they get on bowler-friendly wickets after crediting former England coach Duncan Fletcher for his match-winning display at Lord's.

  • Australia's Shaun Marsh is to undergo an operation on his elbow next week

    Australia batsman Shaun Marsh is set to be sidelined for up to four months following confirmation he is to undergo elbow surgery next week.

  • Alastair Cook is facing increasing pressure as England captain

    Former England captains Michael Atherton and Michael Vaughan feel the time has come for current national team skipper Alastair Cook to step down.

  • Yorkshire's Adil Rashid celebrated his season's best figures of four for 27

    Yorkshire returned to the top of the LV= County Championship Division One table when they completed a comprehensive 220-run victory over Middlesex at Scarborough by bowling them out for 201.

  • Jonathan Trott made 106 for Warwickshire

    Jonathan Trott has made his first century since returning to cricket in Warwickshire's LV= County Championship Division One clash against Sussex.

  • Somerset fast bowler Steve Kirby has been forced to retire because of injury

    Somerset fast bowler Steve Kirby has been forced to retire from professional cricket due to an ongoing shoulder injury, the county have announced.

  • England lost quick wickets to slump to a 95-run defeat at Lord's

    England collapsed to a 95-run defeat at Lord's, to concede a 1-0 Investec series lead and pile ever more pressure on their captain Alastair Cook.