Ashwell Prince reigns for South Africa

London, July 12:

Ashwell Prince marked his first Test innings against England with a fifty as the Proteas staunched the flow of wickets at Lord’s here on Saturday.

South Africa, at tea on the third day of the first Test, were far from out of trouble at 156-4, a deficit of 437 and needing a further 238 runs to avoid the follow-on target of 394. But given 31-year-old left-hander Prince had come in at 47-3, this position represented something of a recovery.

Prince, whose patient fifty came in two hours and 22 minutes off 82 balls with eight fours, was 52 not out with AB de Villiers, who’d so far helped him add 73 for the fifth wicket, unbeaten on 38. South Africa, who’d lost three of their top order all in single figures, resumed after lunch on 78-3. Neil McKenzie was out for 40 and South Africa were 83-4.

South Africa started on seven without loss in reply to England’s daunting first innings 593-8 declared, a total built around Ian Bell’s Test-best 199 and 152 from Kevin Pietersen in his first Test innings against the land of his birth.