18 Aug 2012

England and South Africa even after day two

7:44 am on 18 August 2012

The second day of the third and final cricket test between the world's top two ranked sides England and South Africa has come to a close with the game delicately poised.

After South Africa were dismissed for a first innings total of 309, England stuttered their way to 208 for five, with Kevin Pietersen's replacement, Jonny Bairstow providing an unbeaten 72.

England captain Andrew Strauss fell to the last ball before lunch to take the gloss off his 100th test on his home ground of Lord's and at one stage the home side were struggling at 54 for four.

In only his fourth test Jonny Bairstow steadied the English however, picking up his maided test fifty in a 124 run partnership with Ian Bell.

Bell was dismissed for 58, but Bairstow remains unbeaten with Matt Prior now at the crease with him.

English need to win to square the series 1-all and keep their spot at the top of the test cricket rankings.