17 Aug 2012

Proteas fight back in third test

7:35 am on 17 August 2012

A battling half-century from JP Duminy and a test best 46 not out from tailender Vernon Philander led South Africa's fightback as they closed on 262 for seven on the first day of the third and final cricket test against England at Lord's.

Play ended early due to bad light and a power cut.

England must win the match at Lord's to square the series and retain their number one status in the world rankings. South Africa will leapfrog them with a draw or win.

Duminy says things didn't go their way in the morning, but they're pretty happy with sessions two and three.

Fast bowler Steven Finn wrecked South Africa's top order with three wickets in seven balls, before they rallied.

Philander came to the crease at number eight with his team 163 for six, while Duminy scored 61 before he perished to the third delivery with the new ball in the last hour.

The pair shared a seventh-wicket partnership of 72 until Duminy went to the fourth catch of the day for wicketkeeper Matt Prior, off James Anderson.

Finn ended with three for 68 and James Anderson had three for 58.

South Africa had elected to bat but crashed to 54 for four, when captain Graeme Smith (14), fellow-opener Alviro Petersen (22), Hashim Amla (13) and Jacques Kallis (3) all departed before lunch.