The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tie poised for tense finish
- Third test - Pollock brings SA back in hunt before England seamersí strong retort

Nottingham: South Africa, chasing 202 for victory, had struggled to 63 for five when bad light prematurely ended the fourth day of the third Test against England on Sunday.

The touring side, 1-0 up in the series, gave themselves hope of an unlikely victory by bowling out England for 118 in their second innings, Shaun Pollock providing the inspiration with figures of six for 39.

But Englandís four-pronged seam attack responded to the challenge, removing Graeme Smith, Jacques Rudolph, Herschelle Gibbs, Boeta Dippenaar and Jacques Kallis to leave South Africa at 50 for five.

Just as in the first innings, Neil McKenzie and Mark Boucher proved saviours, digging in for nearly an hour to add 13 runs in the deepening gloom before the umpires offered them the chance to leave the field.

It was another intriguing day of fluctuating fortunes at Trent Bridge. England, who had lost Marcus Trescothick to the first ball of their innings on Saturday, needed a solid start, but Pollock produced an unplayable delivery that Michael Vaughan could only edge to Boucher.

Nasser Hussain joined Mark Butcher and the two first-innings centurions battled through testing spells by Pollock and Makhaya Ntini. Pollockís removal from the attack, however, prompted a collapse.

Andrew Hall ripped out Butcherís off stump with his first ball, and the bustling allrounder trapped Ed Smith leg-before with his next delivery.

Alec Stewart tamely edged Kallis to Boucher and Hussain, fresh from scoring his 13th Test century in the first innings, looked fortunate to survive a shout for leg-before by Pollock.

The former captain battled his way to 30 in just under two hours when he was finally trapped leg-before by Pollock, but Flintoff lifted Kallis for a huge six over long-on to raise English spirits.

The big allrounder also fell for 30, though, carving Pollock tamely to Gibbs at backward point. Ashley Giles played a few defiant strokes but after he fell for 21, Pollock wrapped up the tail, claiming his 299th Test wicket when he ended the innings by trapping James Anderson in front of the wicket.

It was Pollockís 15th five-wicket haul in his 73rd Test.

South Africa captain Smith, with 656 runs in the series, was first man out for five, leg-before to James Kirtley, who dismissed Rudolph in identical fashion two balls later.

Gibbs made a breezy 28 before he top-edged an attempted pull off Steve Harmison to Giles at mid-on, and Dippenaar completed an unhappy match when he clipped Anderson straight to Ed Smith at mid-wicket to leave South Africa reeling at 41 for four.

Kallis resisted for 13 before being bowled off the inside edge by Anderson, leaving McKenzie and Boucher to survive a number of leg-before appeals as they lived to fight another day.

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