LONDON: England dismissed South Africa for 309 on the second day of the third and final test at Lord's in London on Friday.
Yesterday, 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 test.
Play ended early due to bad light and a power cut. Three of the four floodlights were functioning when the players left the field with 14 balls left. Dale Steyn was also unbeaten, on 21.
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.
"Things didn't go our way in the morning, but we are pretty happy with sessions two and three," Duminy told reporters.
"England are more on top than we are but we are happy with the fighting spirit that we showed.
"We (he and Philander) tried to build a partnership as we consider ourselves the engine room in the team, when we lose early wickets. Vernon is batting exceptionally well... He has once again showed his potential.
"We would like to get to 300 if we can. Anything above that would be a bonus."
England shaded the day because of the placid nature of the Lord's pitch that traditionally encourages first innings totals in excess of 400, but nonetheless, the tourists have posted a competitive score.
Fast bowler Steven Finn wrecked South Africa's top order with three wickets in seven balls, before they rallied.
"We are very happy where we are after the day's play," Finn said. "We are a little bit ahead of the game at the moment, with having them seven down.
"We know that Philander can bat," he added. "He was fortunate early on in his innings, but even so we have stuck to our task well. He didn't get away from us." AGENCIES