The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Trescothick double after Thorpe’s comeback century

London, Sept. 6 (Reuters): Marcus Trescothick scored the first double century of his career and Graham Thorpe made a comeback hundred as England staged a fightback against South Africa on Day 3 of the fifth and final Test on Saturday.

Trescothick hit 219, spanning nine-and-a-half hours and including 32 fours and two sixes, while Thorpe, in international wilderness for a year, compiled 124 as England closed on 502 for seven, a first-innings lead of 18.

The South Africans, leading the series 2-1, hit back to get rid of Alec Stewart, Trescothick and Ashley Giles for 22 runs in the closing overs. The home team, having dismissed Graeme Smith’s dominant touring side for 484 on a good track, resumed on 165 for two and dominated most of the day to keep their slender hopes of salvaging the series alive.

The two left-handers combined perfectly to put on 268 for the third wicket before Jacques Kallis bowled Thorpe off his pads with an off-cutter just before tea. The Surrey player, his career stalled by a marriage break-up that led to him quitting cricket last year, batted for five-and-a-quarter hours for hid 12th Test century containing 17 fours.

He was given a standing ovation. “To score a hundred on your return, and on your home ground, I couldn’t have written it better,” Thorpe said. “It was probably harder than my debut because I desperately wanted to do well. There was a lot of emotion and relief, I felt like I climbed a mountain.”

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