England arrows pierce South Africa
On the first day of cricket at Lord’s since the Olympic archery competition, England’s bowlers were right on target in the third and final Investec Test with South Africa.
A third of the outfield has had to be relaid due to the stands that occupied the outfield, but this caused no inconvenience to the hosts who reduced their opponents to 267 for seven at stumps.
Indeed, it was the overhead conditions that they initially exploited after Graeme Smith had chosen to bat first in his record 94th Test as captain.
James Anderson had Smith caught behind on review before Steven Finn, preferred to Tim Bresnan as Graeme Swann returned to the attack, struck thrice in two overs to leave the Proteas 54 for four.
Finn had Alviro Petersen caught down leg for 22 and then bowled Hashim Amla before Jacques Kallis fell in the same fashion as Petersen, following a home review in the next over.
The unchanged tourists recovered via three consecutive fifty partnerships, but England broke through at crucial junctures. Anderson drew AB de Villiers into an edge to third slip on 27, Swann bowled Jacques Rudolph for 42 and Anderson had JP Duminy caught behind for 61 with the new ball in his third wicket-maiden.
Number eight Vernon Philander frustrated England, ending unbeaten on 46 alongside Dale Steyn. Anderson finished with 3-58 and Finn 3-68.
It all added up to a fine first day of a Test - Andrew Strauss’ 100th and 50th as skipper - that the hosts must win to share the series and stop South Africa usurping them as the world's leading five-day side.
6:27pm - STUMPS - SA 262/8; Philander 46 Steyn 21 - Finn takes over from Broad at the Nursery End and hits Steyn with a short ball, which prompts the umpires to end play 2.2 overs early due to the fading light.
6:22pm - Steyn clips Anderson to leg for four and then edges just short of the slips. Finn takes over from Broad at the Nursery End.
6:11pm - Steyn glances Broad to fine-leg for four to bring up the 250.
6:05pm - Dale Steyn fortuitously gets off the mark via a leading-edged four off Anderson.
5:59pm - Broad shares the new ball with Anderson, but cannot break through in his first over with it as the floodlights come on.
5:52pm - WICKET! Duminy c Anderson b Anderson 61; SA 235/7 - England take the new ball straight away with Anderson back at the Pavilion End. Duminy plays loosely away from his body and gets a thin edge to Prior in Anderson’s third wicket-maiden.
5:45pm - Duminy cutely paddle-sweeps Swann for four. The sun has gone in and the new ball is due in an over.
5:35pm - Trott returns at the Nursery End shortly before the new ball is due. His first delivery is an inswinger that beats Philander plus Matt Prior and goes for two byes. Swann follows with a maiden to Duminy.
5:23pm - FIFTY! Duminy (124b 5x4 0x6) - Philander slices Broad to the point boundary. He is scoring at less than a run a ball now, but only just. Duminy then guides the seamer towards the third-man rope for three that takes him to 50 and heralds the fifty stand. For good measure, Philander thumps four down the ground.
5:13pm - Stuart Broad replaces Anderson and troubles Philander, whose leading edge falls safely behind gully to bring up the 200. The drinks break is taken at the end of the over.
4:57pm - Anderson, who is having some trouble with the footholds at the Nursery End, beats Philander with an unplayable delivery. Swann does likewise against Duminy with a comparable ball.
4:52pm - Philander edges James Anderson, who has replaced Swann, just short of second slip and earns two runs.
4:45pm - Philander pulls Finn just short of Ian Bell, desperately diving forward at deep square-leg.
4:36pm - Philander continues to attack, swinging Swann to leg for four to keep his strike rate in three figures.
4:31pm - Vernon Philander, the beginning of South Africa’s tail, thick-edges Finn for a boundary. Later in the over Finn clips the non-striker’s stumps for the first time today, leading to a dead ball. Philander then cover-drives another four.
4:26pm - WICKET! Rudolph b Swann 42; SA 163/6 - Graeme Swann indeed switches to the Nursery End. Rudolph plays back but only inside edges a short ball and is tamely bowled.
4:21pm - Steven Finn returns from the Pavilion End where he took three wickets in two overs during the morning session. JP Duminy cover-drives Finn for four, bringing up a half-century alliance with Jacques Rudolph, and then picks up four leg-byes off his thigh pad.
4:16pm - Play resumes and surprisingly Jonathan Trott is still bowling from the Nursery End, although this over may be to facilitate a change of ends for a specialist bowler.
3:55pm - TEA - SA 151/5; Rudolph 41 Duminy 26 - Swann bowls a maiden from the Pavilion End to end the afternoon session.
3:50pm - South Africa’s 150 arrives via Duminy’s single to deep square-leg off Trott. It’s an impressive recovery from 54 for four.
3:43pm - Jonathan Trott replaces Swann for an exploratory over or two before tea, which is at 3:55pm due to the lunchtime rain delay. There is almost a run-out when Duminy sends Rudolph back, but Anderson cannot relay to Trott in time.
3:36pm - Duminy takes a leaf out Rudolph’s book, but is not as convincing in his lofted four down the ground off Swann.
3:30pm - Rudolph strikes his second aerial four from Swann before Broad replaces Anderson, whose third spell yielded 7-3-15-1. Duminy cuts a Broad loosener for four.
3:26pm - Duminy repeats his boundary from Anderson’s previous over. This is the seamer’s seventh on the trot from the Pavilion End.
3:22pm - Swann beats the left-handed Rudolph’s outside edge en route to his first maiden.
3:16pm - Duminy leans on an Anderson delivery for his first four, which goes down the ground.
3:12pm - Rudolph aerially drives Anderson just in front of point for four and, next ball, plays and misses loosely well outside off stump.
3:06pm - Rudolph cuts a rare loose Swann ball for four the over after the maiden sequence ended.
3:01pm - Swann bowls England’s fourth maiden in a row as the pressure really builds on the batsmen.
2:57pm - Anderson has an lbw appeal against JP Duminy, who is yet to score, turned down in his second wicket-maiden of the game.
2:50pm - WICKET! de Villiers c Cook b Anderson 27; 105/5 - An important breakthrough as Anderson, off whom de Villiers had not scored for 13 balls, draws the edge and Alastair Cook holds on to his left at third slip. All de Villiers’ runs came off Finn.
2:42pm - Rudolph lofts Swann for four over mid-on, his first boundary from his 50th ball, which takes South Africa into triple figures. Rudolph’s two to leg later in the over heralds the fifty stand.
2:34pm - REVIEW - Anderson takes over from Finn and has a close lbw appeal against de Villiers turned down. England review and, after umpteen replays, the original decision is upheld as the right-hander survives on 27. The hosts have no reviews left in this innings.
2:29pm - de Villiers dispatches a Finn full-toss and long-hop for two fours, respectively to cover and fine-leg.
2:23pm - Graeme Swann, recalled after being left out at Leeds, bowls for the first time today in place of Broad. He begins with a maiden to Rudolph.
2:20pm - de Villiers flicks and pulls Finn for two leg-side fours as he and Rudolph continue to look solid.
2:18pm - Broad, bowling a shade slower than he can, delivers a maiden to Rudolph.
2:11pm - Finn strays down leg for four and Jacques Rudolph then drives towards the rope only for Jonny Bairstow’s dive to save a run.
2:06pm - AB de Villiers cuts Finn through the covers and up the hill for four, the first boundary since the interval.
1:59pm - Stuart Broad has taken over from James Anderson at the Nursery End and begins after lunch with a tidy over.
1:55pm - Players and umpires are back in the middle and the good news is no overs have been lost from the day's 90, but tea will be at 3:55pm. Steven Finn continues from the Pavilion End with a maiden to AB de Villiers, who at times struggled to see the ball clearly.
1:40pm - There has been at times heavy rain during the interval, although it has stopped now and the sun is out. However, play will not resume until 1:55pm.
12:59pm - LUNCH - SA 65/4; de Villiers 5 Rudolph 7 - Broad beats the left-handed Rudoph all ends up with the last ball before the interval that nips back between bat and pad and just goes over the stumps. With rain falling, the covers come on.
12:51pm - Broad bowls a maiden to Jacques Rudolph to keep the pressure on South Africa.
12:38pm - WICKET! Kallis c Prior b Finn 3; 54/4 - AB de Villiers gets off the mark from his first ball, which he works to midwicket, leaving Jacques Kallis on strike. The right-hander appears to glove Finn down leg for a Matt Prior catch, but is given not out. England review and, after several replays, Kallis is given out although there are suspicions the struck right glove may have been off the bat.
12:31pm - WICKET! Amla b Finn 13; SA 50/3 - The right-hander is beaten through the gate by a beautiful ball that comes down the slope to strike the top of off stump. Two wickets in the over leave South Africa in trouble as light drizzle briefly falls.
12:27pm - WICKET! Petersen c Prior b Finn 22; SA 49/2 - Petersen gloves a catch down leg. After being given out and setting off, the right-hander thought about reviewing on the basis his right glove, which the ball hit, was off the bat. However, it was too late to review.
12:22pm - Cloud cover has returned and Amla breaks a quiet passage of play by clipping Anderson through square-leg for four.
12:13pm - The sun is out and Amla takes advantage of better batting conditions by driving Anderson to the point boundary. Like many times today, though, the batsman then plays and misses.
12:10pm - Petersen breaks a personal period of 18 scoreless deliveries with back-to-back fours, the first to fine-leg and the second in front of square.
12:05pm - Anderson returns to the attack from the Nursery End. Amla drives him to the cover boundary, but is beaten by the next ball.
11:55am - REVIEW - Hashim Amla gets off the mark from his 10th ball and Petersen survives two lbw appeals from Finn, the latter which England review. Like the first, it is too high. The drinks break follows.
11:52am - Petersen drives wildly outside off but fails to connect in another run-less over, this time from Broad.
11:47am - Finn takes over from Anderson, who has figures of 5-1-9-1, and begins with a maiden.
11:41am - Petersen drives Broad through cover for four, and the bowler then has a loud lbw appeal turned down. It was going just wide and over leg stump.
11:35am - WICKET! Smith c Prior b Anderson 14; SA 22/1 - Smith plays away from his body at a very full ball from Anderson and England immediately review. Replays show he hit ground and ball so England have the breakthrough they craved. Anderson completes a wicket-maiden to loud applause.
11:28am - The swing that Anderson, in particular, is getting is so exaggerated that a good-length delivery is often missing the bat by several inches. Smith thick-edges one through backward point for four before beating the left-hander all ends up with a beauty.
11:20am - Anderson and Broad are exhibiting impressive controlled swing, which is troubling the batsmen. A packed house is sensing an opportunity for a wicket.
11:13am - Smith almost misjudges a single to mid-off in Broad’s second over and has to scramble to make his ground as Steven Finn’s shy misses the stumps. Petersen then drives through mid-off for the first four of the game.
11:05am - Stuart Broad shares the new ball with Anderson. Smith takes a single to fine-leg and Alviro Petersen drives through the vacant cover region to get going with two, but then plays and misses outside off stump.
11am - The pavilion bell has been rung by Jamaican sprinter Yohan Blake. The players are in the middle and James Anderson is about to bowl the first ball to Graeme Smith from the Pavilion End. Smith gets off the mark with a single to leg from the fifth delivery, the only run of the over.
10:40am - At the toss Strauss was presented with a commemorative silver bat to mark his 100th Test. Strauss, who won the previous two tosses in the series, said he thought this may be a good one to lose due to the cloud cover that has swept over Lord’s.
10:30am - SOUTH AFRICA WIN THE TOSS AND BAT - England have made two changes with Bairstow and Swann returning in place of Pietersen and Bresnan. South Africa are unchanged. Ian Bell moves up a place to bat at four with James Taylor at five and Bairstow six.
10:15am - Both squads are warming up on an outfield bearing slight scars from the Olympic archery, but unlikely to create problems for fielders. There is already a crowd next to the pitch in preparation for the toss in 15 minutes.
10:10am - South Africa are expected to name the team that played in the first two Tests. Smith, Alviro Petersen and Jacques Kallis have respectively overcome knee, hamstring and back problems that troubled them at Headingley.
10am - Only half an hour to go until the toss. The sun is out, although overcast conditions are forecast for much of the rest of the day. England will make at least one change from the draw at Headingley Carnegie following Kevin Pietersen’s omission. Jonny Bairstow is expected to play in Pietersen’s absence, but Graeme Swann could also return - in place of one of the seamers that featured in Leeds.
9:55am - This is a landmark match for Strauss and Smith: it is the former’s 100th Test plus 50th as captain and the latter’s 94th in charge, which is an international record.
9:50am - It is just over a year since Andrew Strauss’ side earned the victory over India at Edgbaston that ensured they would go to number one. Following a mixed 12 months at the summit, they must now beat a strong touring side that naturally has designs on England’s position.
9:45am - Good morning and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live coverage of England’s most important game for a year. They must win the third and final Investec Test with South Africa here at Lord’s to remain top of the International Cricket Council rankings. Any other result will see the Proteas, who lead the series 1-0, usurp them.