SA v England, 4th Test Day 4 Commentary

By Dave Tickner   Last updated: 17th January 2010  

South Africa beat England by an innings and 74 runs South Africa complete a thumping victory. Awesome performance from the Proteas, who have blown England's batting away twice to end a brilliant Test series with a series-levelling victory that they thoroughly deserve. Real shame it's not a five-Test series - it'd be a cracking decider. Oh well. The series ends 1-1, and South Africa retain the Basil D'Oliveira Trophy.

Over 43 Duminy 4-0-4-0-W 169 WICKET! Duminy gets that elusive 20th wicket for South Africa. He buys the wicket at the price of two slogged boundaries by Sidebottom, who is bowled attempting a third.

Over 42 Steyn 0-1nb-0-0-0-0-0 161-9 - Smith brings back Steyn as he tries to finish this off before lunch. Sidebottom tries to oblige with a terrible single off a no-ball. Anderson would've been gone by a foot, but the throw is off target. Anderson plays a couple of short balls nicely, defending them straight down into the ground, before getting a painful blow in the belly. He's down on his haunches for a while getting his breath back, and Steyn ends the over with the pitched-up swinger but Anderson keeps it out.

Over 41 Morkel 0-1-0-0-1-1 159-9 - Morkel steaming in looking for a fifth wicket but these two left-handed tailenders can both be pretty obdurate. Some iffy running between the wickets looks as likely a source as any of the 20th breakthrough. The last ball of the over in particular sees some interesting variations on standard calling practice before a run is eventually safely completed.

Over 40 Duminy W-0-0-1-0-1 156-9 WICKET! What a bowling change! Smith brings JP Duminy into the attack for the first time in the match, and the off-spinner does a Swann by striking with his very first ball. Duminy will be the first to admit it's not the best delivery he's ever bowled - in fact it's a complete pie - but Collingwood pulls it straight into the hands of Morkel at long-leg. Collingwood can't quite believe it, but he has to depart after a stand-alone innings amid another England collapse. He's top-scored in both innings, which has not admittedly taken much. James Anderson is England' last man as South Africa chase the wicket which has trouble them most in the series: the 20th. Anderson off the mark with a nudge to midwicket before Duminy spins one past Sidebottom's outside edge. JP got a bit lucky with that wicket, but he's bowled really well in this series. Not really been required here, but he's going to have a huge role to play in India. One hopes he continues working on his bowling, because there's great all-round potential there.

Over 39 Morkel 0-3-0-0-4-1 154-8 - Morkel back looking for his fifth wicket of the innings. Sidebottom in his sights, but England's number 10 gets off his pair with a good-looking push straight down the ground. Better still, it brings three runs to bring Collingwood back on strike. He carves another ball deliberately up and over gully for four before picking up a single to deep point from the last ball of the over to keep the strike.

Over 38 Steyn 0-0-0-0-6-0 146-8 - Brilliant from Collingwood. Smith quite rightly brings the field in after four balls to try and keep Sidebottom on strike for the next over, and Collingwood responds by whacking the world's top-ranked fast bowler straight back over his head for the full count. Collingwood drives the next ball hard to the left of McLaren at mid-off and sets off for a single to keep the strike. But the fielder makes a superb diving stop and Collingwood has to turn round and dive to make his ground. He jars the finger he dislocated in Durban as he does so, and there's a lengthy delay while he receives some treatment and fresh strapping. Still looks very sore and swollen that finger - which only makes Collingwood's efforts in the last two Tests even more impressive.

Over 37 McLaren 4-0nb-0-0-1-0-0 140-8 - Collingwood's going for it. He throws everything at a couple of wide ones from McLaren, edging the first over the slips for four but missing the next. A drive out to the cover sweeper leaves Sidebottom two balls to survive, which he does easily enough.

Over 36 Steyn 2-0-4-4-W-0 134-8 WICKET! Said it wouldn't be dull. Steyn's back and Swann whips him through midwicket for two before uppercutting and pulling boundaries. The next ball is the classic Steyn outswinger, which finds the outside edge and is snaffled at waist height by AB de Villiers at third slip. The end is offcially nigh as Bumble advises motorists to "start the car". Ryan Sidebottom is the new batsman, and he survives the final ball of the over. Will Colly play for a red-inker, or will he tee off? Doesn't really matter now.

Over 35 McLaren 1-1-4-1-0-0 124-7 - This partnership, however long it lasts, is unlikely to be dull. A couple of singles before Swann slaps a full ball from McLaren through the covers for four.

Over 34 Morkel 4-1-1-0-0-0 117-7 - Collingwood goes to a high-quality half-century with a drive through the covers for four. He's batted in completely different fashion in this match (just 65 balls for the half-century) and has been the one England batsman equal to the task in testing but perfectly reasonable conditions here. The Barmy Army go potty because a) they love Colly and b) they've had nothing else to cheer. Collingwood - England's leading runscorer in the series now - picks up a single with a defensive push into the covers. Drop! Really tough chance put down by Ashwell Prince diving to his left at third slip. Swann fended at a short ball and got a thick edge but Prince can't hold on to what would've been a stunner.

Over 33 McLaren 0-0-0-0-0-0 111-7 - Ryan McLaren into the attack, and he starts with a maiden over to Swann. Nasser hasn't given up, observing that these two need to put on about 200. The thing is, that probably won't be enough.

Over 32 Morkel 0-0-W-0-3-4 111-7 WICKET! Morkel getting the job done in a hurry now. Broad is initially given not out after fencing at one down the legside. Boucher's absolutely convinced, and South Africa decide to review. One replay later and it's clear they're right to do so. The ball flicks off the glove - which is usually easier to spot than an edge - and Daryl Harper overturns the decision. The review system does its job, and Broad makes a fool of himself by standing around pointing at his arm guard. Having taken an age to walk onto the field he now takes an age to walk off even though the whole world has just seen the decision was correct. We know England don't much rate the DRS, but no dignity in pretending that was anything other than a clearly correct use of it. Wasn't a howler from Steve Davis, but the replays showed a clear deflection off the glove. On your way, son. Three wickets for no runs in seven balls - Morkel's second spell today going rather better than his first. Graeme Swann comes in, ducks his first ball and slaps his second down the ground for three. Collingwood, who has batted brilliantly again amid the chaos at the other end, pulls the final ball of the over through midwicket with absolute authority.

Over 31 Parnell 0-0-0-0-0-1 104-6 - Having finally made his way to the middle, Broad doesn't seem particularly fussed about staying out there too long with a series of plays and misses outside the off stump before he gets off the mark with a single to deep square-leg from the final ball of the over.

Over 30 Morkel 1-1-W-0-W-0 103-6 WICKET! Not for the first time, Morkel opens Bell up with the short ball. Bell, squared up, opens the face and ends up guiding the ball into the slip cordon where the massive mitts of Jacques Kallis cling on at head height. Drop! Hashim Amla puts Matt Prior down first ball at short-leg. Since that stunning catch to get Strauss right at the start of the game he's actually put a few easier ones down. WICKET! No harm done, though. Quite possibly the worst shot Prior has ever or will ever play. He tries to hook the ball and gets in a horrendous tangle. The ball sails high into the air, and Smith runs back from first slip to take a simple catch. Broad thinks he might be able to extend his time-wasting to batting as well and takes an eternity to reach the middle. May well have been caught with one pad on at the fall of the wicket, but Tony Hill has words as Broad saunters to the middle. Some watch-tapping from the South Africans.

Over 29 Parnell 0-0-0-0-4-0 101-4 - Brilliant again from Parnell, mixing up big inswingers with deliveries pushed across the right-handers. Collingwood jabs down late on an inswinging yorker and somehow manages to squirt the ball wide of the slips and down to the boundary.

Over 28 Morkel 0-0-0-0-0-0 97-4 - Much better from Morkel in this second spell. Good maiden over, including an absolute snorter that whizzes past Bell's nose.

Over 27 Parnell 1lb-0-0-0-0-0 97-4 - Huge lbw shout against Collingwood, but Tony Hill says no. Desperately close. Conversation between bowler and captain, but they opt against risking their second review. Certainly looked a much better option than Morkel's in the last over, and Hawk-eye has the ball clipping the bails. So South Africa right not to review as the original decision would've stood. But I bet they'd have reviewed if they hadn't wasted one in the previous over. Cracking spell from Parnell, though. He's getting plenty of shape at good pace.

Over 26 Morkel 0-0-0-0-0-0 96-4 - Shocking review from South Africa. They might come to regret that at some stage. Morkel's back into the attack and straight away hits Collingwood on the pads, but the batsman was way outside the line and the ball wasn't even going on to hit the stumps. Missing off by miles. Well, a couple of inches. There's a similar shout a couple of balls later, but South Africa this time wisely opt against going upstairs. Much better over from Morkel, though.

Over 25 Parnell 0-4-0-0-0-0 96-4 - Runs coming at a rare old lick this morning, with Bell opening his account by slapping the second ball of Parnell's over to the point boundary. Too long left in the game for blocking to do any good. Time for drinks.

Over 24 Steyn 0-0-2-0-2-4 92-4 - Collingwood's enjoying his battle with Steyn so much that he doesn't want anyone else to get involved wit the fun. Such is his desire to face everything, he even takes a quite astonishingly poor second run after fending the ball into the legside. Morkel's throw would have found Bell yards short of his ground, and even if Steyn had got back to the stumps to gather it was game over. Collingwood shows why he wanted to get back on strike by pulling the last ball of the over to the square-leg boundary. Words exchanged between batsman and bowler after that boundary, and one suspects between batsman and batsman.

Over 23 Parnell 0-1-0-W-0-0 84-4 WICKET! Parnell picks up his second key wicket of the innings. Not the best ball he'll ever bowl, but Pietersen went chasing it outside the off stump and only managed to nick the ball through to Boucher. Huge wicket for South Africa, because Pietersen was starting to look better at the crease. England's two best batsmen of the series at the crease now as Ian Bell joins Collingwood.

Over 22 Steyn 0-0-0-4-1-0 83-3 - Steyn v Collingwood has become one of the best battles of the series - not least because it's abundantly clear that both men absolutely relish it. Steyn striving for the breakthrough, but Collingwood standing up to everything. A solid forward defensive push through mid-on runs all the way for four before Collingwood takes on another short ball and whacks it to deep square-leg for a single. Brilliant bowling, great batting. England and South Africa should just play each other in Tests forever. They're physically incapable of playing out a bad Test series.

Over 21 Parnell 0-0-2-0-0-0 78-3 - Morkel out of the attack after a pretty disappointing spell this morning. Too short, too wide. Wayne Parnell's into the attack, and starts well enough. Good lines going across Pietersen, who picks up two with a punch through cover off the back foot.

Over 20 Steyn 4-4-0-0-0-0 76-3 - Nass was certainly right about Collingwood's approach this morning. Steyn tries a bumper but doesn't really get it high enough, and Collingwood short-arm pulls it through midwicket for four. The next one is short again, but this time it does get up around head height and Collingwood has no control as he top-edges the ball over Boucher and down to the boundary. Steyn bowls another bouncer and Collingwood thinks about going after that as well before wisely pulling out of the shot at the last moment. That's two for the over, so Steyn is back to his standard full-length swinging attack and doing it brilliantly. Two outswingers followed by a massive inswinger that just passes the off stump and carries on swinging as Boucher has to dive away to his left to gather.

Over 19 Morkel 0-0-1-4-0-1 68-3 - Pietersen picks up his first run of the morning with a flick to fine-leg before Morkel continues his curious approach of bowling short and wide to Collingwood, who thrashes another boundary up and over the infield. Went much squarer this time, and again very deliberately played. Graeme Smith responds by moving JP Duminy from point to fly-slip, but to be honest it's not great bowling. Collingwood keeps the strike with a good sharp single to cover.

Over 18 Steyn 0-0-0-2-0-0 62-3 - Too good from Steyn again, hooping a full outswinger past Collingwood's outside edge. The next ball is similar, but this time the Brigadier lets it go. Mark Boucher takes it and immediately sprints up to the bowler to offer some advice. Not quite sure what he could say other than "Keep going", but Boucher was hugely keen to get his message through. Collingwood gets two through mid-on for a defensive push, which shows what a good pitch this is. No backlift or follow-through, but the ball came off the bat sweetly. Steyn tries a yorker to end the over, but Collingwood's equal to it and digs it out.

Over 17 Morkel 0-0-0-0-0-0 60-3 - Pietersen plays out a good maiden over from Morkel. Don't want to jinx him, but I'm going to do it anyway: KP looking more composed and less frenetic at the crease in this innings.

Over 16 Steyn 0nb-0-0-0-4-0-0 60-3 - Brilliant stuff again from Steyn, troubling Collingwood with some late outswingers that brought back memories of Cape Town. Great moment as Collingwood gets a thick outside edge just over the slips for four, with the batsman's cry of "Oh no!" as the ball comes off the bat clearly audible to everyone who can work a volume control.

Over 15 Morkel 0-0-0-0-4-3 55-3 - Hussain hugely pleased with himself in the commentary box now, as Collingwood provides some early evidence for Nasser's in-the-know info. Twice he goes after balls he would've left at Cape Town, carving the ball up and over the slips for four and then three as AB de Villiers gives chase and just reels the ball in.

Over 14 Steyn 0-0-0-0-0-0 48-3 - Nasser Hussain has had his ear to the ground it seems. He reports that there are "whispers" about England's approach this morning. It will apparently be positive. No Brigadier Block this time we're told. No runs off the first over of the morning, though, a splendid start from Dale Steyn who sets Pietersen up with five outswingers before trying the in-ducker. Just gets the line a fraction wrong, and it would have slipped down the legside.

Welcome to the fourth and, in all probability, final day of this cracking fourth Test. South Africa have been magnificent as has the pitch. Alas, the same cannot be said of England or the umpiring. Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood are England's not out batsmen, and they have a well-known fondness for batting together. If they can add about 250 or something for the fourth wicket, then we might just have a game on. For South Africa, a couple of wickets in an extended morning session would do splendidly.

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