Broad: ‘We’ll do it for you, KP’
Fast bowler Stuart Broad insists England will be going all out to win for captain Kevin Pietersen in today’s final day of the fourth Test at The Oval.
The hosts require 197 runs to record a morale-boosting win and hand Pietersen victory in his first match as skipper. And Broad, who took a crucial 3-44 in bowling South Africa out for 318, is confident the team can make use of a good wicket and end the series on a high.
“If we can win it will be a great ending and a fantastic start for Kev as captain,” the Nottinghamshire pace man said. “He’s been brilliant all week and hopefully we can pull it off for him.
“We are pleased to have 10 wickets in hand going into the final day. The wicket flattened out, it was quite slow and took bounce out of the equation. It’s still a very good wicket.
“We set defending fields with the aim of keeping them to a total of about 320 and that’s what they got.”
With the weather forecast clear for today, England will be confident of putting the slow pitch to good use and wrapping up victory in good time.
South Africa seemed to score freely on it and might have even given England a higher winning target to aim for had AB de Villiers not lost his wicket just three runs short of his century. He put on 95 in a defiant eighth wicket stand with Paul Harris before being bowled by Monty Panesar when attempting to hit the boundary which would have brought up his ton.
Starting the day at 110-2, 12 runs behind, South Africa suffered a blow as early as the third over when Hashim Amla edged a Steve Harmison ball to Tim Ambrose for 76.
The Proteas then lost Jacques Kallis (9) and Ashwell Prince (24) before lunch, while the wickets of Mark Boucher (12) and Morne Morkel (10) had England confident of an early finish. They were frustrated, however, by de Villiers and Harris (34) until they fell within eight balls of each other, leaving England to mop up the tail.
England’s opening batsmen faced a potentially awkward final hour, but eight balls into their chase bad light and rain ended proceedings.