On the Day 4 of the 2nd Test match, England claimed a narrow first-innings lead before a thunderstorm wiped out the final session against South Africa at Headingley.
England took a small lead of six as their first innings ended 25 minutes before. Kevin Pietersen failed to add to his scintillating 149 when he fell lbw to the second ball of the morning but Matt Prior gave England drive with a vital 68 to leave the match intriguingly balanced.
Meanwhile, a flash of lightning sent the players rushing for the pavilion. Rain began to fall seconds later, forcing lunch to be taken a few minutes early and restricting South Africa’s time at the crease to 2.3 overs. The new ball was swinging and South Africa were grateful to reach lunch unharmed in the hope of more settled weather ahead.
South Africa was under physical strain. Smith, the South Africa captain, did take the field with a knee heavily strapped after injuring himself on Saturday evening when he made an effort to prevent a boundary. But that was only one of South Africa’s problems. Jacques Kallis had developed lower back spasms overnight that ruled him out of bowling or fielding for the rest of England’s innings.
South Africa’s Jacques Rudolph, opening in place of the injured Alviro Petersen, was unbeaten on 21 while skipper Graeme Smith was on 17 as he continued to bat with a minor knee injury. South Africa has so far made 39 runs for no loss in 2nd innings with a lead of 33 runs.
England, 1-0 down after losing at the Oval in the first Test, immensely needs to avoid defeat in the three-match series to prevent South Africa from leapfrogging them and claiming the number one Test ranking.
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