South Africa was 25 for one at tea on the second day of the first cricket Test at The Oval on Friday, after having dismissed England for 385. James Anderson trapped Alviro Petersen leg before for a duck, but Graeme Smith was unbeaten on 14 and Hashim Amla was batting on 10 after surviving a torrid end to the afternoon session.

South Africa roared back into contention, after the host was well placed on 267 for three overnight. Matt Prior scored 60 from 90 balls with nine fours, but South Africa took England’s last seven wickets for 134 runs.

Morkel scalps four

Morne Morkel was the pick of the South African bowlers with figures of four for 74, while Dale Steyn took two wickets in seven balls including that of Alastair Cook, who was bowled for 115 having added just one run to his overnight total. Jacques Kallis claimed two for 38 and wicket-keeper A.B. de Villiers took five catches.

The key wicket of Cook came in the fifth over of the morning when he played on to his stumps and was bowled by Steyn. He then removed Ravi Bopara, recalled for this match after a year out of England’s Test side. Bopara lasted just six balls before he wafted his bat at a Steyn bouncer and was caught behind for a duck.

Steyn, in particular, looked like taking a wicket with every delivery, but in an inspired piece of captaincy Graeme Smith replaced him from the Vauxhall End with Jacques Kallis.

Kallis’ fourth ball clipped the top of Ian Bell’s off bail, bowling him for 13, and things could have been worse for England had Jacques Rudolph held a difficult chance when Prior edged Morkel to gully. Tim Bresnan (wight) lasted 32 balls before he chopped Imran Tahir’s third ball of the morning on to his stumps.

Counter

But having lost four for 59 during the morning session, England countered after lunch. Prior reached 50 with a straight drive off Vernon Philander, but Philander then bowled Stuart Broad for 16, ending a useful stand of 45 for the seventh wicket. Prior eventually got the faintest nick to Morkel and was caught behind, and Morkel wrapped up the innings four balls later when James Anderson (2) became de Villiers’ fifth victim.

England — 1st innings: A. Strauss lbw b Morkel 0, A. Cook b Steyn 115, J. Trott c de Villiers b Morkel 71, K. Pietersen c de Villiers b Kallis 42, I. Bell b Kallis 13, R. Bopara c de Villiers b Steyn 0, M. Prior c de Villiers b Morkel 60, T. Bresnan b Tahir 8, S. Broad b Philander 16, G. Swann (not out) 15, J. Anderson c de Villiers b Morkel 2, Extras (b-2, lb-24, w-3, nb-14): 43; Total (in 125.5 overs): 385.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-170, 3-251, 4-271, 5-272, 6-284, 7-313, 8-358, 9-383.

South Africa bowling: Morkel 24.5-2-72-4, Philander 27-4-79-1, Steyn 30-7-99-2, Kallis 19-7-38-2, Tahir 19-0-61-1, Duminy 6-1-10-0.

South Africa — 1st innings: G. Smith (batting) 14, A. Petersen lbw b Anderson 0, H. Amla (batting) 10, Extras (lb-1): 1; Total (for one wkt.): 25.

Fall of wicket: 1-1.

England bowling: Anderson 6-3-15-1, Broad 5-3-9-0.

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