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England v South Africa – live score fourth ODI

LIVE: England v South Africa – follow the score from the fourth ODI at Lord's

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UPDATED:

10:43 GMT, 2 September 2012

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The NatWest Series is all square after England finally beat South Africa this summer at the Kia Oval on Friday, and Alastair Cook's men have the chance to take a decisive step towards winning the series at Lord's on Sunday.

Whoever emerges victorious at the home of cricket will know that they cannot be beaten in the series, whatever happens in the final match at Nottingham.

The washout at Cardiff in the first game was followed by a South Africa win in Southampton and then England's triumph in south London.

Cook made no changes to the side that looked so impressive at the Oval, meaning Surrey fast bowler Jade Dernbach kept his place ahead of Tim Bresnan.

South Africa recalled Ryan McLaren for Morne Morkel.

England won the toss and will bowl first.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE LATEST SCORECARD

Close call: England bowler Steven Finn (right) reacts after nearly earning the wicket of South Africa batsman Hashim Amla (left) at Lord's on Sunday

Close call: England bowler Steven Finn (right) reacts after nearly earning the wicket of South Africa batsman Hashim Amla (left) at Lord's on Sunday

England beat South Africa by four wickets in third ODI at the Oval

England v South Africa: Dernbach and Morgan put smile back on Flower's face

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UPDATED:

20:12 GMT, 31 August 2012

England celebrated their first victory over South Africa this summer
after half-centuries from Eoin Morgan and Jonathan Trott saw them to a
four-wicket win in the third match of the NatWest Series.

Having lost the Test series 2-0 and fallen 1-0 behind after two matches
of the one-day leg, England turned the tide at the Kia Oval courtesy of
Morgan's fluent 73 and a stoic 71 from Trott.

High times: England's Jade Dernbach, right, celebrates with Craig Kieswetter after claiming the wicket of South Africa's Dean Elgar

High times: England's Jade Dernbach, right, celebrates with Craig Kieswetter after claiming the wicket of South Africa's Dean Elgar

The bowlers earlier played their part by dismissing the tourists for 211, Ravi Bopara miserly with one wicket for 31 runs in 10 overs and James Anderson polishing off the tail to close with four for 44.

England briefly looked in bother on 64 for three but Trott played the anchor role in a dogged 125-ball innings, while Morgan added the flair with seven fours and two sixes.

Ian Bell wasted no time getting England's chase going but, after crashing three boundaries in Lonwabo Tsotsobe's first over, he was pinned leg before wicket by Dale Steyn.

Big hit: Eoin Morgan scored a quickfire 73

Big hit: Eoin Morgan scored a quickfire 73

Steady: Jonathan Trott shared a century stand with Morgan

Steady: Jonathan Trott shared a century stand with Morgan

His opening partner Alastair Cook took 18 balls to get off the mark but did so by turning Tsotsobe off his hips for four.
Eleven more came off Steyn's fourth over as Trott arrived at the crease and the hosts reached 45 for one after 10 overs.

Tight lines from Morne Morkel and Wayne Parnell saw just 12 runs added in the next five overs.

Cook was particularly sedate and went for a laboured 20 with a tame shot to Robin Peterson.

Bopara then fell for a disputed duck, given caught behind off Morkel.

He immediately reviewed the verdict but the technology was inconclusive and he was forced to depart, albeit reluctantly.

At 69 for three from 20 overs, England had plenty of work to do.

Ouch: Morne Morkel falls on the ball after failing to take a catch...

Ouch: Morne Morkel falls on the ball after failing to take a catch…

... and Graeme Smith, right, sees the funny side

… and Graeme Smith, right, sees the funny side

Morgan's arrival added much-needed impetus – not to mention boundaries – as he raced past 30 at better than a run-a-ball.

A wide from Dean Elgar took England's target below 100 and Morgan
thrashed the spinner for the first six of the day in the 32nd over.

All the while, Trott was compiling slowly but surely and reached 50 from 86 deliveries.

Morgan's own half-century came off a breezier 54 balls and he overtook his partner with a flowing four over extra-cover.

A second six followed to the same area off Tsotsobe and his seventh four, off Morkel, brought up the century stand.
Morgan's game-changing knock ended with a looping caught-and-bowled to Peterson and 40 still needed.

Craig Kieswetter cleared the ropes once before being run out for 14,
leaving Trott to shepherd England within five runs of victory.

The impressive Parnell accounted for the number three, via the outside
edge, but Samit Patel was on hand to hit the winning boundary.

Controversy: England's Ravi Bopara, left, questions dismissal with umpire Kumar Dharmasena

Controversy: England's Ravi Bopara, left, questions dismissal with umpire Kumar Dharmasena

Questionable: Morgan departs despite Peterson dropping the ball as he went to celebrate catch

Questionable: Morgan departs despite Peterson dropping the ball as he went to celebrate catch

South Africa, having won the toss and batted, got off to a promising
start but after reaching 119 for two at the halfway stage they lost
wickets at regular intervals to be bowled out with 3.2 overs remaining.

Hashim Amla, having made a 311 not out on this ground in the Test
series, was quickly into his stride and plundered 11 off James
Anderson's third over.

His partner, Graeme Smith, had 18 of the first 50 runs before he was bowled by Anderson to an ugly stroke.

Cook turned to Bopara and his nagging medium pace soon after and he successfully strangled the scoring.

It was Jade Dernbach who made the key breakthrough, though, swinging a
full delivery past Amla's bat and removing leg stump for 43.

The bowling powerplay boosted England, costing just 21 runs and yielding that prize scalp.

Elgar and AB de Villiers were in danger of getting stuck until they took
13 off a single James Tredwell over, although the off-spinner exacted
his revenge at his next visit.

De Villiers was the man out, chipping to Bell at long-off for 28.

Bopara got a deserved wicket when he bowled Faf du Plessis for one and
Elgar went for a less-than-fluent 42 when he missed a trademark Dernbach
slower ball.

Number seven Parnell had a frenetic eight-ball stay, hitting one
authentic four through midwicket and two edged boundaries before
Dernbach had him caught behind.

That left JP Duminy to repair the innings and he made a diligent 33
before holing out off the bowling of Tredwell looking to up the rate.

Anderson made light work of the lower order, removing Steyn, Morkel and Tsotsobe in the space of eight deliveries.

Matt Prior should be in England one-day frame – Nasser Hussain

Magic Matt should be back in England one-day frame

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UPDATED:

22:22 GMT, 5 August 2012

I've seen Matt Prior a few times this summer, both for England and Sussex, and he’s batting as well as he's ever done. There's a one-day series after these Tests, and when he plays as well as he did on Sunday morning for his 68, you do wonder whether there’s the chance of a recall.

He can't say he hasn't been given enough of a chance in the 50-over side, and his stats aren't great — only three fifties in 68 matches with an average of 24.

There’s also the fact that England don’t like chopping and changing, and Craig Kieswetter's keeping in the one-day team has noticeably improved this summer. But Prior's knock here was a reminder that he’s too good a player simply to forget about.

Counter-puncher: Matt Prior hits out during his excellent innings on Sunday

Counter-puncher: Matt Prior hits out during his excellent innings on Sunday

More from Nasser Hussain…

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Nasser Hussain: Battling Prior is just the man for a South Africa-shaped crisis
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What a terrible Morne-ing, Skip! Hussain on Strauss' dismissal
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Nasser Hussain: England must score big and set it all up for Swann
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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The one part of his game I do get a bit fidgety about is when he is given a licence to hit out. Just occasionally he can get the balance wrong between defence and attack.

It's partly why he’s never really come off at the top of the one-day order. He’ll get to 20 or 30, and then think he has to keep going through the gears. The shot he played here to get out to Imran Tahir — a big sweep to fine leg — was part of the same issue.

But I’m splitting hairs, because he’s become such a good performer with the bat, while his keeping is rarely remarked upon these days, which is exactly what you want.

And with England probably heading to Lord’s for the third Test needing to win, there is a possibility Prior could move up to No 6 so they can fit in five bowlers.

As I said at the start of this Test when Graeme Swann was left out, you need a very good reason to change a formula that has taken your side to the top of the Test rankings.

Spoilsport: South Afrrica spinner Imran Tahir finally ended Prior's innings

Spoilsport: South Afrrica spinner Imran Tahir finally ended Prior's innings

England have got there with a four-man attack, and I’d rather they kept it that way: you should always play to your strengths. But if he has to move up a place, I have no doubt he’d be more than capable of thriving.

James Anderson: No other batsman in the world could have done what Kevin Pietersen did

No other batsman in the world could have done what Pietersen did

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UPDATED:

00:29 GMT, 5 August 2012

Kevin Pietersen is one of the finest leavers of the ball in Test cricket.

Not that you'd know it from his innings against South Africa.

To take apart one of the best attacks in world cricket in the way that he did proves what a special talent he is.

Fine knock: Pietersen swung the momentum back England's way

Fine knock: Pietersen swung the momentum back England's way

In my opinion no other batsman in world cricket could have played an innings like he did.

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Kevin likes to take the game to the opposition, and the way he did that to Morne Morkel and Dale Steyn excited us in the dressing room just as much as it did the crowd.

At various points, like when he was pulling Morkel through midwicket, or hitting Steyn back over his head for six, as a bowler you were left wondering where they could bowl to him next.

I was just happy it wasn't me out there bowling.

At the time James Taylor went in at 173 for four, things could have gone badly against us.

Kevin has brought a win back into the equation.

He passed 7,000 runs here, the fastest to that mark in Test history. And he is now only two away from setting a new record of 23 Test hundreds for England.

Nice to have him, Strauss and Cook all racing for that line; I'm quite certain that they will be the top three on that list before the end of their careers.

It was also great to see Taylor batting with such calm maturity on his Test debut.

Steven Finn could help England against South Africa – Nasser Hussain

Finn would add 'oomph' to England's tired attack after South Africa defeat

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 23 July 2012

Make no mistake, England have been blown away here, and after winning an important toss too. South Africa have done to England what they themselves have done to so many other sides in recent years and completely overpowered them.

At 270 for three at the start of the second day, England would have expected to get 500, throw the ball to their much-heralded attack and pile the pressure on South Africa. So for Graeme Smith’s side to turn that around so emphatically is a superlative effort.

This is an England bowling attack that we have been proud of and for them to take only two wickets in the match is the biggest concern. For once it has been the opposition who have had far more options with the ball, the seamers moving it more and the spinner turning it more.

Answer Steven Finn could be the key to beating the South Africans

Answer Steven Finn could be the key to beating the South Africans

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What a terrible Morne-ing, Skip! Hussain on Strauss' dismissal
19/07/12

Nasser Hussain: England must score big and set it all up for Swann
19/07/12

Nasser Hussain's five key battles as England and South Africa square up at The Oval
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England now know, if there were any doubts, that here is a side who represent a serious challenge to their status as the world’s No 1 Test team.

This has been the most complete performance, even down to an unusually positive declaration. I wouldn’t have liked to have played against this lot.

It has to be a worry that on a pretty flat pitch South Africa were able to take 18 more wickets than England.

So much of a worry, indeed, that if the wicket at Headingley is similar I cannot see how England could possibly field the same attack in the second Test. The psychological advantage that South Africa would have will surely be too great after this.

England will have to consider bringing in Steven Finn for Tim Bresnan, as much as anything for the ‘oomph’ that has been lacking here. England cannot afford to worry about the extra runs Bresnan might offer when they need to make more of an impression with the ball.

Yet this is not the time to panic. England have got where they are with consistently brilliant cricket and one bad game does not mean they need to make big changes. They must think rationally and come up with the best ways to hit back.

Gutted: England's Matt Prior walks off dejected on the final day of the Test

Gutted: England's Matt Prior walks off dejected on the final day of the Test

If there is more movement at Headingley then England should again look like the attack we have become accustomed to watching. Movement would breed confidence among the bowlers and uncertainty in batsmen. Then Smith and Hashim Amla’s pads might suddenly look a bit bigger and Jacques Kallis might get a bit squared up, as he has been in the past in England. All is not lost.

I do not think England’s batsmen are as culpable for this defeat as the bowlers. Yes, there were some bad shots, particularly in the second innings, but much of that was down to scoreboard pressure and the quality of the opposition.

Fall guy: Tim Bresnan (left) could be the bowler to lose his place

Fall guy: Tim Bresnan (left) could be the bowler to lose his place

Look at the way South Africa set up Kevin Pietersen. Morne Morkel worked him over with the short ball to push him back — not too many attacks have the quality to do that — and his technique was affected. Brilliant bowling.

There will now be calls for all sorts of names to come in but, for me, Ravi Bopara should play at Headingley. People might say I’m biased towards an Essex man but all I want to see is Bopara handed a proper chance.

In a funny way I think the English public will have enjoyed this week. They wanted to see a team who could seriously test England and they have got one. This is real Test cricket.

LIVE: England v South Africa: Day five, first Test, the Oval

LIVE: England v South Africa – the action on day five of the first Test at the Oval

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UPDATED:

10:32 GMT, 23 July 2012

Stay up to date with all the action on day five of the first Test between England and South Africa with Sportsmail's
unrivalled team. We'll deliver over-by-over coverage as the action
unfolds at the Oval while our brilliant team of writers will update
with their insights from the ground. Email your thoughts to [email protected]

England v South Africa: Essentials

England: Andrew Strauss (c), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior (wkt), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.

South Africa: Graeme Smith (c), Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB De Villiers (wkt), Jacques Rudolph, JP Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir.

Umpires: Asad Rauf and Steve Davis. TV: Kumar Dharmasena

England won the toss and elected to bat

First innings: England 385, South Africa 637-2 declared.

Click here for a full scorecard

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WICKET! Bopara b Steyn 22

Unlucky… Bopara drags on to a wide one from Steyn and South Africa have their first wicket of the day.

45th over: England 117-4 (Bell 15, Bopara 22)

Steyn continues…

44th over: England 117-4 (Bell 15, Bopara 22)

Bell tucks his first run of the day down to fine leg. The ball didn't miss Bopara's off stump by eight millimetres in the last over, it was in fact 0.8 millimetres! Bopara fends a single to square leg as Morkel goes too straight again. That brings up the 50 partnership.

43rd over: England 115-4 (Bell 14, Bopara 21)

Steyn continues… Close! Bopara leaves one that nips back and misses the off stump by eight millimetres, according to HawkEye. Maiden.

42nd over: England 115-4 (Bell 14, Bopara 21)

Bopara was out to the short ball in the first innings and South Africa seem to be targeting with him it. He comfortably pulls a single to square leg again though, this time off Morkel. No-ball. Two from the over.

41st over: England 113-4 (Bell 14, Bopara 20)

Steyn into his second over of the day. Shot! Steyn goes short and too straight and Bopara finds the gap at square leg with the pull. He then tucks a single to the same area. Five from the over.

40th over: England 108-4 (Bell 14, Bopara 15)

Morne Morkel will bowl the second over of the day. Signs of swing for the big man as a leg bye is added down to fine leg. Four! Morkel strays down the leg side and De Villiers can't stop it going all the way. Wide: not a good start this from Morkel. Six from the over.

39th over: England 102-4 (Bell 14, Bopara 15)

Dale Steyn will bowl the first over of the day, Bell is on strike… Hardly any bounce out of this pitch for Steyn. Bell is solid in defence. Maiden.

10.58am: The players are on their way out on another glorious day. England fans will be praying for a repeat of Cape Town 2010, or Centurion 2009, or Old Trafford 1998, or Johannesburg 1995…

10.48am: Here's Sportsmail's reaction to the events yesterday if you fancy a pre-match read to get you in the mood for today…

Paul Newman's report on a day where a 'toothless' England were dominated by Hashim Amla is here.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain lauds South Africa's nullifying of Graeme Swann here.

Lawrence Booth spoke to Amla after his record-breaking innings here.

David Lloyd's reacts to Amla's innings, amongst other things, in Bumble at the Test here.

And Lawrence Booth's Match Zone is here.

Historic day: Fans celebrate Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France triumph on day four at the Oval

Historic day: Fans celebrate Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France triumph on day four at the Oval

10.43am: Interesting quotes have emerged from Andy Caddick this morning, with the former England quick calling for Kevin Pietersen to be dropped.

'I personally think it's time we moved on from the Pietersens and looked for a fresher player,' he told talkSPORT.

'I think Kevin Pietersen is a wonderful cricketer but I just don’t think his mindset is right for English cricket, especially with all else that is going on in world cricket which he is involved in.

'It's one of those things, it has to be said, and I think it's going to happen.'

If you have any thoughts on that, or on anything cricket-related throughout the day, feel free to drop me an email by clicking on the link above.

Star man: Amla takes the plaudits at the end of day four

Star man: Amla takes the plaudits at the end of day four

10.38am: The men at the crease for England are Ian Bell and Ravi Bopara. They have already put on 35 for the fifth wicket, but they'll need to put on a whole lot more if England are to save this one. England do bat deep, but they'll want these two and Matt Prior at No 7 to bat for the bulk of the day.

10.35am: South Africa effectively need six wickets to win this match. England are 150 runs behind the tourists at 102-4 and have no chance of winning this match. For them the task is simple, yet much easier said than done: bat out the day.

10.30am: This is it then. A day of reckoning for England. Can they hold out for what would be an unlikely draw. If they can do so, it would match, if not better, those earned in South Africa and against Australia in Cardiff back in 2009.

Bowled him: Pietersen's middle stump is uprooted

Bowled him: Pietersen's middle stump is uprooted

Dylan Hartley promises England statement against South Africa in Johannesburg

Springboks won't know what's hit them! Hartley confident for second Test

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UPDATED:

07:27 GMT, 11 June 2012

England hooker Dylan Hartley claims South Africa's forwards now know they are in for a ferocious battle in next weekend's second Test in Johannesburg.

The tourists may have been limited in attack in the series-opening 22-17 loss in Durban on Saturday but Hartley believes they created a strong impression on their opponents.

The 26-year-old said: 'I think we put down a statement and I would like to think they will have a bit more respect for us next week. We definitely met the physical challenge.

Sinking feeling: England were edged out by South Africa in their opening tour defeat in Durban

Sinking feeling: England were edged out by South Africa in their opening tour defeat in Durban

'All I have heard about from them is about how physical they are, and from the locals saying, “Are you ready to get a hiding”

'I am happy that we fronted up. They look at our set-piece and respect that and I am really happy we got off the line in defence and hunted their big runners and we met them head on.

'We have shown we can do it, we should have won.

'The way we finished the game is a huge positive – if we hadn't have given away a cheap penalty it could have been a draw – I am definitely confident and the lads are that we can go to Johannesburg next week and win.'

Up for it: Hartley believes England can beat South Africa

Up for it: Hartley believes England can beat South Africa

The England squad flew to the capital with spirits largely undamaged, injuries to Mike Brown and Brad Barritt notwithstanding, after their battling display at Kings Park.

Even after deserved second-half tries from Morne Steyn and Jean de Villiers swung a tight game the Springboks' way, England fought on and claimed a late consolation score from Ben Foden.

Hartley said: 'We played our best rugby (at the end). It is a statement that we are not going away.

'We will look at that and it is positive going into next week. We played our best attacking rugby in the last 10 minutes.

'The lads were saying to each other, “We'll get them next week”, so we have proved to ourselves the game was there for the taking and we can beat these guys.'

The challenge is expected to get tougher as the series moves from sea level of Durban to the Highveld.

Luke Benedict

The Springboks' limited preparation after only coming together as a squad a week ago will also no longer be a factor.

Hartley said: 'We didn't come down to South Africa saying we were going to win every game – for this team taking a step forward is to pick up a result out here.

'That is a big old scalp. We are going into their lair in Jo'burg and there isn't a better place to go and do it.'

Stuart Lancaster says England looking for revenge against South Africa

Lancaster: England boys are already looking to 'right wrongs' after South Africa defeat

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UPDATED:

12:41 GMT, 10 June 2012

England head coach Stuart Lancaster claims his players already have their minds set on revenge after their narrow first Test loss to South Africa.

Lancaster's side were edged out 22-17 by the Springboks in the opening game of their three-match series at Durban's Kings Park.

The challenge now gets tougher with the second Test taking place at altitude in Johannesburg and the Springboks' limited preparation time no longer a factor, but Lancaster insists players are far from disheartened.

Improve: Stuart Lancaster's men are determined to do better

Improve: Stuart Lancaster's men are determined to do better

He said: 'The boys are disappointed because they lost. They want to win, that is the primary emotion at the moment.

'But when we look back on it, at half-time we were definitely in a positive mindset and we felt we had the better of the first half, even though it was only 6-6.

'The boys are certainly very positive and the good thing is we have already seen one or two areas we can fix up.

'The players are talking about it already and that is a good sign. They are not downcast and they are feeling there is no chance of turning up next week and not winning.

'If anything, this will be their motivation to right the wrongs we did in this game.'

England fought hard in the first half and twice led with Owen Farrell penalties but both were cancelled out by Morne Steyn.

The Springboks upped the tempo after the break and relentless pressure eventually told as Steyn and new captain Jean de Villiers broke through for tries.

Stuck in: Owen Farrell tackles Francois Steyn

Stuck in: Owen Farrell tackles Francois Steyn

England responded with two more Farrell penalties but another two from Steyn put the game beyond them despite an impressive late consolation from Ben Foden in the corner.

Lancaster said: 'I don't recollect too many clear-cut chances that we created but we definitely created some and put pressure on the Springboks.

'But they defend with pretty much everyone in the line, it is hard to break them down.

'Composure was probably the key word that we need to work on – make sure we play in the right place at the right time but, equally, when we have got opportunities to get the ball off the field we get it off the field.

'Once they were across the gainline, irrespective of how we slowed the contact down or got around the corner, eventually the hard-running South African forwards made a dent into us.

'We need to work defensively and make sure we win that gainline battle. That is crucial for all sides.'

The spirits of the England side revived under Lancaster remain intact.

Consolation: Ben Foden grabbed a late try

Consolation: Ben Foden grabbed a late try

Lancaster has transformed the national side after last year's dismal World Cup and feels the new faces he has introduced will be better for the experience.

Forwards Joe Marler and Tom Johnson both worked hard on debut while full-back Mike Brown shone on his return to the starting line-up, although he has a thumb injury which will be assessed.

Lancaster said: 'It is about building experience.

'We had four or five under-21s in the side.

'For them to come here and play at this level and this intensity – I thought they stepped up remarkably well.

'Mike played as he did for Harlequins throughout the season. He didn't just look safe under the high ball, he was good.

'He has been a long time waiting for his chance and I am really pleased with how he played.'

South Africa-born centre Brad Barritt is England's other injury concern after leaving the field in the second half with a facial injury.

The players who did not feature will get their chance to stake a claim for a place in the second Test in a tour match against the Southern Barbarians in Kimberley on Wednesday.

Lancaster said: 'We need the midweek boys to pitch up and play well, put pressure on us and make sure we have got some good selection decisions to make.'

West Indies just the sort of test England required – Nasser Hussain

Far from faultless, but just the sort of test England required

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 21 May 2012

This was just the kind of game England needed. They would have gained nothing from a three-day finish, with West Indies bundled out for 150 and 200.

Instead, they got a really tough battle that went well into the final day.
I'm not saying this was a faultless display from England – far from it. But they will take a lot from it.

They were made to work hard for their 20 wickets, especially by Shivnarine Chanderpaul and on Sunday by Marlon Samuels. Then on the fourth evening, and for a while on Monday morning, Kemar Roach steamed in to give them a right working-over. It was proper Test cricket.

Hard work: Kemar Roach (left) provided a stern test for England's batsmen

Hard work: Kemar Roach (left) provided a stern test for England's batsmen

That will stand them in good stead when South Africa arrive later in the summer. Jacques Kallis can be as immovable as Chanderpaul, while Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel are bound to give England’s batsmen the hurry-up.

The captain Andrew Strauss got runs in the first innings, which put to bed that particular issue, and Ian Bell – after a difficult winter in which he could not pick Saeed Ajmal – produced two classy innings to remind everyone what a talented batsman he really is.

More from Nasser Hussain…

Nasser Hussain: England need to pitch it up to get on top of Shivnarine
20/05/12

Nasser Hussain: Hundred sets the tone for England's summer
18/05/12

Nasser Hussain: Anderson is the key to trapping stubborn Chanderpaul
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Nasser Hussain: Sadly, the West Indies have been weakened by wealth of IPL
16/05/12

Nasser Hussain: England should keep the sweep, but they must do it right
02/04/12

Nasser Hussain insight: I was a dead man walking… Strauss is far from that
30/03/12

Nasser Hussain: Skipper Strauss must keep calm and carry on
28/03/12

Nasser Hussain: Don't sweat about Sri Lanka's attack… worry about beating the heat
25/03/12

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I still think the seamers did not quite get their length right during that partnership between Chanderpaul and Samuels, and I hope they will go away and have a think about how best to bowl to Chanderpaul.

These things do not happen overnight, but good teams constantly seek to improve, and that is what I expect England to do.

The only issue they will have to think about ahead of the second Test at Trent Bridge is the third seamer's role. In the long term, I believe Steven Finn is England's best bet in that role, even though Tim Bresnan is the better batsman.

But the ball tends to swing in Nottingham. Jimmy Anderson is king there and when I played there in 2003, against South Africa, James Kirtley did well. Bresnan is more of a swing bowler than Finn. For the time being, I would stick with him, even though Finn may prove to be the more complete bowler.

A word about West Indies, who pushed England hard and scored 345 in their second innings. Last year, a star-studded India line-up came to this country and reached 300 only once in eight innings. But West Indies knuckled down without several of their best players.

I do look at Darren Sammy, though, and wonder if he is the man for the job of captain. He is a lovely guy and he has instilled some discipline but he seems a bit representative of this West Indian team as a whole: not quite good enough.

Proved his class: Ian Bell hit an unbeaten 63 to steer England home

Proved his class: Ian Bell hit an unbeaten 63 to steer England home

West Indies have a problem. Do they recall some of the more talented players – the likes of Chris Gayle and Ramnaresh Sarwan – while risking what the West Indian board deems to be their lazy attitudes Or do they supplement the current lot, who just lack that extra ability needed to compete over five days, with a bit of stardust It's a tough call.

They have outperformed here – but they have still ended up losing fairly comfortably. They will have to play out of their skins if they are not to lose the series in Nottingham.

Rangana Herath spins Sri Lanka to first victory in 15 Tests

Herath spins Sri Lanka to first victory in 15 Tests to set up decider with Proteas in Cape Town

Sri Lanka levelled their series in South Africa with victory by 208 runs on the fourth day of the second Test at Durban.

Set an imposing 450 to win and clinch the three-match series, the hosts were dismissed for 241, with only AB de Villiers (69) and Dale Steyn (43) – who put on 99 for the seventh wicket – offering much resistance.

Rangana Herath took five wickets for 79 runs to seal a first Test win for Sri Lanka since the retirement of legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and set the stage for a thrilling decider in Cape Town next week.

Breakthrough: Sri Lanka ended a streak of 15 tests without a win

Breakthrough: Sri Lanka ended a streak of 15 tests without a win

The penultimate day at Kingsmead startedwith the tourists taking their overnight total of 256 for seven on to 279, with Steyn taking his innings figures to five for 73.

Thisara Perera edged Steyn to Jacques Kallis at second slip for 12, Chanaka Welegedara hit 10 before despatching the fourth ball he faced to Hashim Amla, then Dilhara Fernando lobbed a Morne Morkel delivery to Ashwell Prince at gully to depart for three and end the innings.

Welegedara almost gave Sri Lanka the perfect start to the second South African innings when he induced an edge from Jacques Rudolph, but Angelo Mathews was unable to claim a one-handed catch diving to his left at slip.

Graeme Smith survived an lbw appeal from Perera in the sixth over before fencing a short delivery from Fernando to Mahela Jayawardene at second slip, succumbing for 26 with the scoreboard reading 37.

Spin king: Rangana Herath (left) picked up five second innings wickets

Spin king: Rangana Herath (left) picked up five second innings wickets

There were no further scares as Rudolph and Amla led the team to lunch on 86 for one – but the afternoon sessionsaw five wickets fall for 45 runs in 23 overs.

Within four balls of the resumption Rudolph was on his way for 22, caught by Jayawardene off Perera.

Kallis followed 19 balls later without scoring, completing a first Test pair when he top-edged a Herath delivery to short leg, where Tharanga Paranavitana took the catch.

It was 106 for four in the 34th over when Amla was run out for 51, pushing down the ground and calling for a single Prince chose not to take.

Decider: The two sides meet in Cape Town in the final Test of the three-match series

Decider: The two sides meet in Cape Town in the final Test of the three-match series

Prince followed for seven, when he fended a short Fernando delivery to Paranavitana at first slip – and it was 133 for six when Mark Boucher was trapped lbw by Herath for seven.

De Villiers and Steyn dug in for more than 34 overs before the former was trapped lbw for a 141-ball 69 by Herath with the scoreboard reading 232.

The end was nigh soon after when Morkel was out lbw to Tillakaratne Dilshan for five, before Steyn”s 125-ball contribution ended in similar fashion.

The contest was over when Marchant de Lange – who took eight wickets on his Test debut – became the third wicket to fall on 241 when he was bowled second ball by Herath, who finished with match figures of nine for 128.