Kevin Pietersen enjoyed rare success as a bowler and Stuart Broad took four quick wickets to give South Africa some anxious moments on the fifth and final day of the second Test against England at Headingley on Monday.
Despite their efforts, the match was almost certain to end in a draw. South Africa were 7-239 at tea, a lead of 233 with a possible 44 overs remaining.
Pietersen followed up a thrilling century in the first innings by taking the first three wickets with his occasional off-spin bowling. He had never taken more than one wicket in an innings in 87 previous Test matches.
While Pietersen prised open the South African batting, dismissing Jacques Rudolph, Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla, he leaked runs with some loose deliveries.
After he had taken 3-52 in nine overs, captain Andrew Strauss took him off and brought back fast bowler Broad.
With his fourth ball Broad trapped AB de Villiers leg before wicket. He won another verdict against JP Duminy off his next ball and followed up with the wickets of Vernon Philander and Jacques Kallis.
Broad’s four wickets were taken in the space of 20 balls at a cost of 12 runs.
A hectic afternoon, in which 116 runs were scored for six wickets in 27 overs, brought some life to a game which had been heading for an undramatic finish when Rudolph and Smith put on 120 for the first wicket.
Play was twice interrupted by rain during the morning and only 21 overs were bowled despite lunch being delayed by half an hour. But the afternoon’s play took place in bright sunshine.
Pietersen struck with his second ball when he trapped Rudolph leg before wicket in the last over before lunch – the second time in the match Pietersen had dismissed Rudolph with his second ball – and followed up in his second over after lunch with the wicket of Smith.
South Africa lead the three-match series 1-0 and England will almost certainly need to win the final Test starting at Lord’s on August 16 to avoid the tourists usurping their number one ranking in Test cricket.