By BV Swagath
The Second Test at Headingley is certainly heading towards a draw as there was little action that was possible on the penultimate day because of heavy showers on two occasions. South Africa were battling hard against the new ball at 39 for no loss in 17 overs before rain had the last laugh wiping out part of the afternoon session and the entire final session.
There was a new opening combination for SA with Jacques Rudolph (21*) partnering Graeme Smith. The reason for this was Alviro Petersen off the field for a long time on Day 3 because of a hamstring strain and could only bat at no.7. Skipper Smith (17*) batted with a knee injury that he sustained yesterday while jarring his knee in a sliding effort to save a boundary. Another injury blow to the Proteas was that of Jacques Kallis, who suffered from a back spasm and could only bat at no.8 for being off the field for a long time.
Earlier in the day, England lost the wicket of centurion Kevin Pietersen (149 from 214 balls with 22 fours and a six) in just the second ball with Morne Morkel striking his pad with an inducker. England were reduced to 351 for 6 and were under a bit of pressure. However, a busy half century from Matt Prior (68 from 89 balls with 8 fours) helped England end up with a safe total of 425 which gave them a negligible lead of 6 runs. Leggie Imran Tahir wrapped up the English innings taking three wickets.