Honours even in Durban Test

South Africa's batsman Dale Steyn, right, plays a stroke as England's Paul Collingwood, left, looks on during the second day of the second Test cricket match at the Kingsmead in Durban, South Africa, Sunday Dec. 27, 2009.  (Photo/Themba Hadebe)
South Africa's batsman Dale Steyn, right, plays a stroke as England's Paul Collingwood, left, looks on during the second day of the second Test cricket match at the Kingsmead in Durban, South Africa, Sunday Dec. 27, 2009. (Photo/Themba Hadebe)

WITH bad light ending play prematurely yesterday for the second day running in the Test between South Africa and England at Kingsmead in Durban, it's just about even-stevens for the two sides.

WITH bad light ending play prematurely yesterday for the second day running in the Test between South Africa and England at Kingsmead in Durban, it's just about even-stevens for the two sides.

Chasing a respectable South African first innings total of 343, England captain Andrew Strauss came out all guns blazing as he knocked up his 18th Test 50 off a meagre 49 balls.

Strauss looked good for a big knock but a full-length delivery by Morne Morkel bowled him for an impressive 54.

Resuming on their overnight total of 175-5, AB de Villiers and Mark Boucher started positively and took advantage of the early start and cooler conditions to dominate the English bowlers.

De Villiers, in particular, looked comfortable, playing primarily off the front foot.

Off-spinner Graeme Swann was once again the pick of the English bowlers. He toiled away to pick up four wickets - those of Jacques Kallis (75), Boucher (39), Morkel (23), and Paul Harris (2).

After missing the first Test because of a hamstring injury, fast bowler Dale Steyn produced the goods with the bat yesterday as he and Makhaya Ntini added 50 runs off only 59 balls for the 10th wicket. Peppered with short deliveries by England quickie James Anderson, Steyn stood his ground and dominated proceedings until he glanced one to wicketkeeper Matt Prior.

The general feeling was that anything over 300 would be a good score. Captain Graeme Smith would have been pleased then with his side's 343 but the ease with which Strauss picked off some of those runs must be cause for concern.

At the crease when play resumes this morning (9.30am) are opener Alastair Cook on 31 and Jonathan Trott on 17.

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