SA take lead before rain arrives

England

Day four of the second Test between England and South Africa was washed out before tea, with South Africa's second innings having progressed to 39 without loss, and a lead of 33 established going into the final day.

Day four of the second Test between England and South Africa was washed out before tea, with the tourist's second innings having progressed to 39 without loss, and a lead of 33 established.

Graeme Smith, who had overcome a knee injury, and Jacques Rudolph, batting in place of the injured Alviro Petersen, were still in the middle after 17 tricky overs under cloudy skies at Headingley before the heavy rains arrived.

Earlier in the day, South Africa had dismissed England for 425, taking five wickets in the morning session before the first burst of rain arrived. Kevin Pietersen, who had so thrilled the Leeds faithful on day three, failed to add to his overnight score of 149 and was trapped lbw by Morne Morkel in the first over of the day.

Spinner Imran Tahir took three tail-end wickets, and England had wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior to thank for their six-run lead after he struck a wonderful 68 before being caught by Dale Steyn off Tahir's bowling.

Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad and James Anderson failed to reach double figures, and their dismissals allowed South Africa to start their second innings before lunch. They only made five runs, though ,before the heavens opened and lightning flashed around the ground.

The Proteas continued their fledgling innings after the lunch interval, which had arrived early due to the inclement weather, and there wasn't much to ignite the crowd's imagination like Pietersen's knock the day before.

Smith, gingerly warming his bruised knee to the task, played cautiously alongside Headingley veteran Rudolph. Both men allowed many an Anderson maiden to pass them by, happy to let the ball grow older until the first-change bowlers came on.

Smith in particular enjoyed Bresnan's deliveries, and quickly caught up to Rudolph's score before rain arrived again and the sky darkened dramatically. The covers were brought on with the score on 39 for nought, at around 4pm in Leeds.

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