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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Strauss joins elite as SA suffer

Strauss joins elite as SA suffer

December 18, 2004 23:01 IST

Andrew Strauss joined an elite band of players to score centuries in their first Tests both home and away on Saturday as England took firm control of the first Test against South Africa in Port Elizabeth.

England ended the second day on 227 for one in reply to the home side's first innings of 337, with Strauss 120 not out.

Mark Butcher was at the other end on 24.

South African-born Strauss was at the crease for almost five hours, facing 215 balls and hitting 16 fours, as the home attack dropped short throughout the day to feed his favourite pull and cut shots.

The left-hander, playing his eighth Test and who scored 112 in his first Test against New Zealand at Lord's in May, looked in peerless form by the end after putting on 152 with Marcus Trescothick (47) for the first wicket.

Only six other players have made hundreds in their Test debuts home and away, with Michael Clarke achieving the feat for Australia earlier in the year.

Strauss, whose parents left South Africa when he was a young boy and who learnt all his cricket in England, also became the first player in Test history to score a century in his maiden test against three different countries.

He has yet to lose a Test, with England seeking a national-record eighth win in a row in Port Elizabeth.

South Africa had resumed on 273 for seven and were dismissed just before lunch, with Boeta Dippenaar making 110.

Marcus Trescothick and Strauss then rode out tight and aggressive opening spells from fast bowlers Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini before scoring more freely off the rest of the attack.

Debutant fast bowler Dale Steyn, who had a delivery timed at 147 kilometres (91.34 miles) per hour on Saturday, blotted his copybook by bowling 10 no-balls.

EXPRESS DELIVERY

But in his sixth over Steyn speared an express delivery through Trescothick's guard to bowl him just short of his half-century and claim his maiden Test wicket.

Strauss and Butcher, though, scored steadily in an unbroken second-wicket stand of 75.

Pollock was South Africa's mainstay, conceding 25 runs in his 18 overs.

Earlier Dippenaar reached his century in the 14th over of the day with an uppercut for four through backward point off strike bowler Stephen Harmison.

He was out four overs later when he edged a drive off fast bowler Simon Jones and was caught by Trescothick at first slip to end an eighth-wicket partnership of 63 with Thami Tsolekile.

Dippenaar batted for more than six hours, faced 245 balls and hit 11 fours.

Tsolekile went five balls later for 22 when he attempted to slog sweep left-arm spinner Ashley Giles and sent a looping catch to Andrew Flintoff at backward point.

Steyn hit Giles for the only six of the innings in his next over and South Africa were dismissed with Giles's next delivery which Steyn, who scored eight, prodded to Straus at short leg.

Seamer Matthew Hoggard was the pick of the bowlers with three for 56 from 20 overs, while Flintoff picked up three for 72 from 22. Giles's steady performance was rewarded with two for 69 from 27.4 overs.

Scoreboard:

South Africa first innings (overnight 273-7)
G.Smith c Strauss b Hoggard 0
A.de Villiers lbw b Flintoff 28
J.Rudolph c G.Jones b Flintoff 93
J.Kallis b Harmison 0
B.Dippenaar c Trescothick b S.Jones 110
Z.de Bruyn b Flintoff 6
S.Pollock c Trescothick b Hoggard 31
A.Hall b Hoggard 6
T.Tsolekile c Flintoff b Giles 22
M.Ntini not out 2
D.Steyn c Strauss b Giles 8

Extras (lb-13 nb-14 w-4) 31

Total (all out, 110.4 overs) 337

Fall of wickets: 1-0 2-63 3-66 4-178 5-192 6-253 7-261 8-324 9-327

Bowling: Hoggard 20-4-56-3, Harmison 25-2-88-1, S.Jones 16-4-39-1, Flintoff 22-4-72-3, Giles 27.4-8-69-2.

England first innings
M.Trescothick b Steyn 47
A.Strauss not out 120
M.Butcher not out 24

Extras (lb-12 w-1 nb-23) 36

Total (for one wicket, 66 overs) 227

Fall of wicket: 1-152

To bat: M.Vaughan, G.Thorpe, A.Flintoff, G.Jones, A.Giles, M.Hoggard, S.Jones, S.Harmison

Bowling: Pollock 18-9-25-0, Ntini 16-1-57-0, Steyn 11-1-45-1, Hall 13-0-54-0, De Bruyn 3-0-18-0, Smith 5-1-16-0.

Source:
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