Smith century puts South Africa on top
Graeme Smith hit a pugnacious century as South Africa took control
before heavy rain stopped play on the second day of the fourth and final
Test against England at the Wanderers Stadium on Friday.
Smith was out for 105 shortly before a thunderstorm flooded the
ground an hour before the scheduled tea break. South Africa were 208 for
two at the stoppage, a lead of 28 runs after England were bowled out for
180 on the first day. Smith and Hashim Amla (71 not out) put on 165 for
the second wicket. The batsmen had to negotiate some hostile bowling at
the start of an extended morning’s play, with the ball swinging and
moving off the pitch, but gradually got on top of the bowlers.
Smith followed up his 183 in the second innings of the drawn third
Test in Cape Town with his 20th Test century and his sixth against
He had to work hard on Thursday evening and again on Friday morning
and it took him 105 balls to reach his fifty. But with Amla providing
reliable support, he picked up his scoring rate as he moved to a century
off 182 balls when he cut Ryan Sidebottom for his 16th boundary.
But he got a good ball from Sidebottom five balls later, edging a
seaming ball from the left-armer to Andrew Strauss at first slip.
Two overs later rain started to fall and within minutes there were
large pools of water on the ground, halting South Africa’s push for a
win which they need to square the series. Smith survived a confident
appeal for a catch behind the wicket when he was on 15 in the fourth
over of the day. JOHANNESBURG, AFP