Sport

Philander's twin-strike leaves England reeling

Monday, August 20, 2012    

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LONDON, England (AP) — England were left reeling at 16-2 by Vernon Philander's twin-strike yesterday after being set a daunting target of 346 to win the third match against South Africa and retain their number one Test ranking.

Philander trapped both openers lbw in the 13 overs left on the fourth day after South Africa were bowled out for 351 at Lord's.

Philander claimed 2-4 after also making 35 useful runs for the Proteas, for whom Hashim Amla hit an elegant 121 before Steven Finn took 4-74 to give the hosts a slender chance.

Finn insisted England wouldn't play for a draw.

England will have to surpass their highest successful run chase of 332 to level the three-match series at 1-1 and hold off South Africa's surge to the top of the Test rankings. That was achieved in 1928 against Australia.

The only wicket to fall in a one-sided morning session was nightwatchman Dale Steyn, who was removed by Stuart Broad after batting for 42 minutes yesterday to frustrate England.

After South Africa resumed on 145-3, Steyn was hit on the left hand as he tried to fend off a bouncer from Finn in the first over of the morning.

Steyn was eventually out for nine, caught at short leg by James Taylor, after a partnership of 33 with Amla. But the hosts then missed a huge chance in the 62nd over.

Having hit his first two deliveries for four, AB de Villiers was on eight when he was bamboozled by Graeme Swann, chipping him to midwicket.

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