Leeds, July 21:

Andrew Flintoff was doing his best to delay South Africa as the Proteas closed in on an innings victory in the second Test at Headingley here on Monday.

England, at tea on the fourth day, were 182-6 in their second innings — still needing 137 runs to make South Africa bat again. Tim Ambrose was 16 not out and all-rounder Flintoff nine not out having batted for more than an hour.

But, with just the England tail to come and more than a day’s play left, South Africa were well-placed to go 1-0 up in the four-Test series. England, who’d already lost star batsman Kevin Pietersen cheaply, had only added 10 runs to their lunch total of 130-4 when Ian Bell was out. He cut forcefully at a short delivery from fast bowler Morne Morkel only for AB de Villiers in the gully to hold a brilliantly one-handed catch.

Opener Alastair Cook had fought hard for his 60, batting for nearly five hours when, trying to turn Jacques Kallis legside, he got a leading edge and was caught by Hashim Amla at short cover position.

England had earlier been just 12 minutes away from getting through the morning session without losing a wicket when nightwatchman James Anderson’s gutsy 111 minute vigil for a Test-best 34 ended when he was LBW to Dale Steyn.