LONDON, England (AFP) — Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla laid the foundations for a significant score as South Africa recovered from the early loss of Alviro Petersen to reach 86 for one at the close of the second day of the first Test against England at the Oval yesterday.
James Anderson produced a superb delivery in the third over of the innings, swinging the ball in and striking Petersen on the back pad to win a leg before wicket decision from umpire Steve Davis.
Petersen's dismissal continued the trend of a day which saw bowlers dominate for long periods under an overcast sky in south London.
However, South African captain Smith and Amla saw their team through to the close to keep the tourists in contention after England's first innings of 385 all out.
Amla had an escape 10 minutes before the end of an extended day's play when England captain Andrew Strauss dropped him at first slip off Ravi Bopara.
But Amla finished on 47 not out, while Smith, playing in his 100th Test, was unbeaten on 37.
There were signs, though, that the tourists will need to build a big first innings score because of uneven bounce from a dry pitch, while England off-spinner Graeme Swann was able to get some turn.
England lost their last seven wickets for 118 runs despite an aggressive innings of 60 off 90 balls by Prior.
Fast bowler Dale Steyn struck in the third and fifth overs of the day to dismiss Alastair Cook and Ravi Bopara as the match underwent a transformation from the first day when the England batsmen were seldom troubled in reaching 267 for three.