SA take advantage

Headingley – Alviro Petersen became the latest South African batsman to plunder runs against England, helping the tourists to just about take the honours on the first day of the second Test at The Oval.

Opener Petersen had registered a duck in the series opener, making him the only Protea not to reach three figures in their impressive innings victory.

However, he made amends for his failure in the capital with an unbeaten 124, sharing in stands of 120 with captain Graeme Smith (52) and then 97 with AB de Villiers, who fell late on to the second new ball for 47.

England also took out nightwatchman Dale Steyn thanks to Steven Finn, picked in place of spinner Graeme Swann to form a four-pronged seam attack, as South Africa closed on 262-5 having been put into bat.

Finn would’ve also had a wicket in his first spell of the day had it not been for a dead-ball call for breaking the stumps in his delivery stride.

It was a second setback in a frustrating morning for England, with Petersen having already been dropped by Alastair Cook at second slip, a position that normally would have been filled by Swann. It was to prove a very costly error with the right-hander still going strong at stumps.

Skipper Andrew Strauss made no such mistake when an opportunity came his way off the edge of Smith’s blade, only for umpire Steve Davis to punish bowler Finn for knocking off the bails.

England pleaded their case but to no avail; the Australian official remained consistent in his stance, too, calling dead-ball on two further occasions during the recalled paceman’s opening burst. (Sky)

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