Sunday August 19, 2012
Bairstow leads England fightback
LONDON: Kevin Pietersen’s replacement Jonny Bairstow spearheaded an England fightback against South Africa on day two of the third and final Test on Friday, keeping alive their hopes of the win they need to square the series.
England were 208 for five in their first innings at the close of play at Lord’s, trailing by 101 runs, thanks to Bairstow’s 72 not out.
It was the Yorkshire batsman’s highest test score in his fourth match. Matt Prior was also unbeaten on 22.
South Africa were earlier bowled out before lunch for 309. Number eight Vernon Philander made a test-best 61, the same score team mate JP Duminy registered on Thursday.
Bairstow, who only returned to the team because of Pietersen’s controversial omission for sending “provocative” texts to the opposition about his own team, batted with maturity to rescue England after they had slumped to 54 for four. Ian Bell hit a battling 58 and put on 124 with Bairstow for the fifth wicket.
“He certainly showed some great character, having been left out of the team and having to go away and work on a few areas,” Bell said.
Earlier, England fast bowler Steven Finn claimed four for 75 while wicketkeeper Prior picked up five catches and a stumping. — Reuters