Up for the battle
Middle-order men have rebuilt Proteas' innings, says Shaun
Last Updated: August 17, 2012 9:36am
Shaun Pollock praised South Africa's fighting spirit after they battled back on day one of the third Test at Lord's.
England v South Africa
Third Test, day two
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"Duminy played some great shots; he mixed aggression with selection and ended up with a really good 60."
Shaun Pollock Quotes of the week
The Proteas will knock England off the top of the Test match rankings with anything other than a defeat at Middlesex's abode, but got off to a difficult start on Thursday, slipping to 54-4 and 163-6.
However, middle-order batsmen JP Duminy (61), Jacques Rudolph (42) and seamer Vernon Philander (46*) stood their ground to lift the tourists up to 262-7 at the close.
"For South Africa to be 262-7 shows they have fought back and if they can get 300 they won't be too unhappy, particularly if they can get some early wickets and get into England's weaker middle order," former Proteas quick Pollock told Sky Sports.
"South Africa have been the front runners for most of this series but today they found themselves on the back foot, so it was nice to see some of the guys in the middle order get some time in the middle, including Vernon Philander.
"JP Duminy played some great shots and being down the order he has to score quickly and control things, but he mixed aggression with selection and ended up with a really good 60.
"He will be disappointed by the way he got out, though, as he went at the widest delivery he received all day (from James Anderson), got a thin under-edge to the 'keeper and was on his way."
England's build-up to the Test was dominated by the Kevin Pietersen saga but it was the hosts' bowling that caught Michael Atherton's eye during the first day at Lord's.
"The ball swung throughout the day, more than it had done at The Oval and Headingley, so England's bowlers looked a bit more potent, " said the one-time England skipper.
"England bowled well without bowing that well; I thought James Anderson was exceptional but I don't think Stuart Broad and Steven Finn were at their best.
"At his best, Finn gets movement away from the right hander, but at the moment some of us think he has a slight technical glitch where he is leaning over.
"However, if you look at his wickets today (of Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis) the glitch worked for him as he picked up three wickets with balls that came into the right handers."
England benefitted from the Decision Review System to garner the wickets of Smith and Kallis after initial appeals had been rejected by the on-field umpire Kumar Dharmasena.
Athers added: "The luck was with England but after the week they have had who would begrudge them that?"
To hear Pollock's review of the day, hit the video at the top of the screen, while for Nasser Hussain's verdict on Andrew Strauss, click this link.