England's final pair hold on to defy South Africa

 

Cricket:England’s final partnership defied South Africa for 19 balls as the tourists held on for a dramatic draw in the first Test at Centurion.

In scenes reminiscent of England’s backs-to-the-wall Cardiff survival at the start of last summer’s Ashes, this time it was Durham team-mates Paul Collingwood and Graham Onions who would not be moved as England finished on 228 for nine.

It fell to Onions to face the last over from Makhaya Ntini — the South Africa paceman taking part in his 100th Test — and with ten men in catching positions around the bat, the England number 11 proved equal to the task.

South Africa-born batsmen Kevin Pietersen (81) and Jonathan Trott (69) had earlier done most of the work to stave off a victory push from their native country in a fourth-wicket stand of 145.

But after Pietersen was needlessly run out and Trott was the first of five wickets to fall for 13 runs in 11 overs to the second new ball, the tourists were left clinging on desperately.