Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Aware the Work Isn't over Yet

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

England Aware the Work Isn't over Yet

Article excerpt

Byline: David Clough

ENGLAND know they must save their best for last if they are to complete the series victory they crave in South Africa. Their hosts, top of the world rankings little more than a month ago, approach the fourth and final Test at The Wanderers, starting tomorrow, in danger of a shock defeat.

England hs ave already had to do it the hard way to chisel out two astonishing draws at Centurion and Cape Town, nus ber 11 Graham Onions famously twice defying South Africa with nine wickets down in the last over.

An innings victory separated those survival acts to give Andrew Strauss' team an unbeatable 1-0 lead. South Africa, however, have raised the stakes by openly instructing the groundsman to prepare a result pitch at a venue where there has in any case been only one drawn Test in the last decade.

Durham's Paul Collingwood, one of England's principal saviours at Newlands last week, is in no doubt about what to expect. "Let's be honest - they're not going to produce a flat, flat wicket," he said. "South Africa are in a position where they need a win - and to do that, they've got to gamble a little bit. This wicket does tend to go through a lot more anyway; you get a bit more bounce here.

"Then if they leave a bit more grass on, it will obviously seam around a bit."

Collingwood knows runs will be a precious commodity, if the pace bowlers dominate - as so many expect.

But he backs England to come up with the goods again, in a match he believes will see all his team-mates pushing for a starring individual role towards a hugely rewarding victory.

"It could be a difficult week for the batsmen," he said.

"But it's exciting. It's a game we should all be wanting to win the man of the match, to win the series for England. It will be a massive achievement for us. …

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