Paul Collingwood justified his inclusion in the England line up with a superb unbeaten hundred that has put the hosts in some good control of squaring the series. The hosts had a good turn around in their second innings thanks to fighting innings from Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood. England now are in the lead with 214 and have four more wickets standing including that of Collingwood’s. It was a hard fought battle at Edgbaston on the third day with players on both sides showing tremendous commitment. Plenty of stunning catches were a result of the fighting spirit shown by the players and the Test Match now deserves a fitting finish. Both sides still have equal chances as the pitch now seems to have flatten out.
Earlier in the day, South Africa were bowled out for 314 with their innings lasting a little over 90 overs. They had resumed the third day’s play at 256 for 6. Sidebottom and Anderson took a couple of wickets each today to keep SA’s lead down to 83. The overnight batsmen Ashwell Prince (39 from 104 balls with 7 fours) and Mark Boucher (40 from 49 balls with 5 fours) couldn’t do a lot of damage for their side. South Africa looked to have gained total control of the match when they had England tottering at 104 for 4. But they still had some unfinished work with Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood yet to be dismissed.
The pair of KP and Colly played their natural game to keep the scoreboard moving. Batting soon looked pretty easy as the bowlers didn’t get a lot of movement off the track. SA’s much needed break finally in the last session when Pietersen trying to get to his century in style dragged Paul Harris to mid on. KP departed having made a promising 94 (from 136 balls with 13 fours) out of probably a match-winning stand of 115 with Collingwood. However, England’s hopes sunk when three balls later, Andrew Flintoff got out to a bat pad off the innocuous Paul Harris. The hosts were again on the backfoot at 221 for 6 which gave them a lead of just 138!
Now it was the turn of England to bounce back in the game which they did through the fighting partnership between Collingwood and wicket keeper Tim Ambrose. This partnership has seen England safely through the day’s play and has also put on a crucial 76 runs for the 7th wicket. Ambrose batted out 78 deliveries scoring 19 and left much of the scoring to be done by Collingwood, who remained unbeaten on 101 in just 140 balls with the help of 14 fours and a six. England’s One Day Captain had got his 6th Test hundred in style with a six off spinner Harris. England have ended the 3rd day’s play at 297 for 6 in 80 overs.