By BV Swagath
The Second Test at Headingley ended in a draw as expected but both the teams had to work extremely hard on the final day. It was just a long day at Headingley with play getting extended by nearly one and a half hours from the scheduled close. Kevin Pietersen got the Man of the Match award for his superb 149 in the first innings along with four wickets for his part time off-breaks.
England asked to chase a target of 239 in 39 overs survived at 130 for 4 in 33 overs before Graeme Smith and his boys gave up their hopes of pulling off a victory. South Africa had earlier declared its second innings at 258 for 9. Stuart Broad livened up the final day with some hostile bowling to take a five-wicket haul. With this draw, South African keep their lead of 1-0 with one more Test to be played in this series which will be at Lord's.
The hosts showed some initial intent of going for the run chase by having Kevin Pietersen to open the innings. Pietersen after cracking three fours departed in the 4th over to make way for Andrew Strauss to join Alastair Cook. The two left handers stroked the ball around positively to maintain some momentum. Both the batsmen fell one after the other through soft dismissals. Strauss (22) patted a full toss back to the bowler Duminy while Cook (46 from 62 balls with 5 fours and a six) got caught off a leading edge while flicking Dale Steyn.
England promoted Matt Prior to once again show its intentions but when he was run out, they had to shut their shop and bat out for a draw. South Africa had sniffed an opportunity with four English wickets going down. Dale Steyn at this stage bowled a fiery spell but the English pair of Jonathan Trott (30* from 57 balls) and Ian Bell (3* from 34 balls) were good enough to see through it.
In the afternoon session, the Test Match which otherwise was going nowhere livened up as Stuart Broad bowled full and fast while getting the ball to reverse swing. Broad also mixed it up with a nasty lifters as well. Kevin Pietersen provided the inroads for England by removing Graeme Smith (52, caught at short leg off what was perceived as a bottom edge onto the pad) and Hashim Amla (caught at covers bashing a full toss). Broad took over from KP by getting AB de Villiers and JP Duminy lbw to full length reversing inswingers in consecutive deliveries.
Broad went onto remove Vernon Philander (lbw to a good length reversing inswinger), Jacques Kallis (gloving a lifter to the Keeper) and then finishing the South African innings with a cheap wicket of Morne Morkel, who was caught slogging.
Update at Lunch on Day 5: The Second Test is heading towards a draw as South Africa batted out the rain-affected morning session losing just the one wicket that too after a solid 120-run opening stand. The morning session was affected by two rain interventions – the first one lasting about forty minutes and the second one just about ten minutes or so.
Lunch was delayed by 30 minutes and the morning session saw 21 overs of action. South Africa moved steadily to 123 for 1 in 38 overs with Skipper Graeme Smith (50* from 103 balls with 4 fours) along with Hashim Amla (1*). The only casualty was Jacques Rudolph (69 from 122 balls with 12 fours), who was lbw to a quicker drifter from Kevin Pietersen in the last over before lunch.
South Africa with an overall lead of 117 runs with still 9 wickets in hand have secured the match. Both the teams are now left to play only for finishing formalities.