England Profit as Harmy Gamble Pays off for KP; (1) All Fall Down: Steve Harmison (Far Left) Celebrates after Bowling Hashim Amla, Jimmy Anderson (Top) Removes Jacques Kallis, and (Left) Neil McKenzie Is about to Be Caught by Alastair Cook (2) Winner in 99: Nasser Hussain (3) Loser in 82: David Gower

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 7, 2008 | Go to article overview

England Profit as Harmy Gamble Pays off for KP; (1) All Fall Down: Steve Harmison (Far Left) Celebrates after Bowling Hashim Amla, Jimmy Anderson (Top) Removes Jacques Kallis, and (Left) Neil McKenzie Is about to Be Caught by Alastair Cook (2) Winner in 99: Nasser Hussain (3) Loser in 82: David Gower


Byline: DAVID LLOYD

STEVE HARMISON sparked England into devastating action at The Brit Oval this afternoon, just as new captain Kevin Pietersen said he would.

Bowling more than 90mph on occasions, gaining steep bounce from one of his favourite pitches in the world and making the ball swing, Harmison sent back South Africa skipper Graeme Smith and No3 Hashim Amla with consecutive deliveries to bring the summers final npower Test to life.

And with fast bowling mate Jimmy Anderson following up with three wickets including his 100th at the highest level in quick succession, the visitors were sent crashing to 176 for nine.

Having already won the series, South Africa were hardly distraught. But it was still a come down for Smiths men, especially as they had been 103 for one.

As for England and captain Pietersen, well what a turnaround. With Alastair Cook dropping three catches, including one off Harmisons first delivery of the match, it looked as though more misery was heading their way. Until the big fast bowler from Durham decided to make his return to Test cricket after a five-month absence something special.

Harmison went into the match with a vote of confidence from Pietersen behind him. But he knew it was likely to be his last chance to resurrect an international career that has veered crazily from Ashes glory (2005) to Ashes humiliation (2006) and all points in between.

Steve is buzzing, absolutely buzzing, said Michael Vaughans successor. Im going to place some responsibility on him, and the big man will deliver for us. Buzzing? The whole ground was crackling with excitement after Harmisons dramatic first over, never mind when he took two in two this afternoon.

Harmisons first ball saw Smith fail to get over an attempted cut and the ball flew hard and fast to gully only for Cook to spill a face-high, two handed chance.

Harmisons initial reaction was one of exasperation. But a rueful smile soon followed and then he started dishing out pain to friend and foe alike.

Smith was in agony after being hit in the box. And, by the end of that first over, Englands Tim Ambrose needed treatment for a cut top lip after Harmisons rising delivery burst through the keepers gloves. …

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England Profit as Harmy Gamble Pays off for KP; (1) All Fall Down: Steve Harmison (Far Left) Celebrates after Bowling Hashim Amla, Jimmy Anderson (Top) Removes Jacques Kallis, and (Left) Neil McKenzie Is about to Be Caught by Alastair Cook (2) Winner in 99: Nasser Hussain (3) Loser in 82: David Gower
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