South Africa builds ominous lead at Lord’sAugust 19, 2012, 9:28 pm
LONDON (AP) — South Africa’s batsmen built a potentially decisive lead on day four of the third Test against England at Lord’s, reaching 216-4 at lunch on Sunday for an advantage of 210 runs.
Hashim Amla was unbeaten on 94, from 177 balls, and the hosts were left to rue a dropped catch by James Anderson, who missed a relatively straightforward chance to remove AB de Villiers when the batsman was on 8.
De Villiers had moved on to 24 not out by the time rain ended the morning session five minutes early and the only wicket to fall was that of the nightwatchman Dale Steyn, who was removed by Stuart Broad.
After resuming on 145-3 Steyn was hit on the left hand as he tried to fend off a bouncer from Steven Finn in the first over of the morning, but he batted for 42 minutes to frustrate England.
Steyn was eventually out to Broad for 9, 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.
In a series in which poor fielding has repeatedly hindered England’s chances, Anderson’s drop was arguably the worst of all. Having hit his first two deliveries for four, de Villiers was on 8 when he was bamboozled by Graeme Swann, chipping him to midwicket.
Anderson, falling forwards, somehow failed to hold the catch and the feeling that England had just "dropped the mace" — the trophy held by the world’s top-ranked Test side — set in.
Wicketkeeper Matt Prior had already dropped Amla, then on 2, on Saturday night and together with de Villiers had put on an unbroken stand of 52 by lunch.
The Proteas, who lead the series 1-0, will replace England as the top-ranked Test team if they avoid defeat.
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Last Updated May 22 2013 | 10:58 pm