Date registered: Mar 2005
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Custodians of Cricket in vain effort.....!
FIRST TEST, Lord's, day five (close):
England 593-8 dec drew with S Africa 247 & 393-3
By Jamie Lillywhite
Amla's patient innings ensured that there were no final day fireworks
Hashim Amla (The HERO!) became the third centurion of the South Africa follow-on as the first Test at Lord's ended in a draw.
Amla shared 152 with Neil McKenzie, who spent more than nine dogged hours at the crease for his 138 before edging a wide delivery shortly after lunch.
Ryan Sidebottom bowled the ball of the match, a magical yorker to bowl Jacques Kallis, but it was a rare highlight.
Amla's fine display of application resulted in his fifth Test ton as the tourists closed on 393-3, 47 ahead.
With South Africa resuming 104 runs behind and nine wickets intact, it was either going to be a classic final day of intriguing action, or it was going to meander in rather turgid fashion.
The dreaded Mexican wave from sections of a modest Monday crowd, perhaps feeling aggrieved at parting with Â£20 for the privilege, told its own story.
Saffas, you've done us proud. I was at Lords on Saturday and really thought my world had collapsed at that batting display
In the final stages of Sunday's play, James Anderson produced an intrepid spell with the new ball that removed Graeme Smith and caused new batsman Amla serious problems.
Anderson gave his all once again, but the ball quickly lost its shine on the abrasive surface.
Monty Panesar (our PUNJABI bro!) came close to a bat-pad catch as the adhesive McKenzie propped forward in the first over of the morning, but in truth that was about the closest England came to a wicket in the session.
For much of the time Panesar bowled over the wicket into the rough, with McKenzie raising his arms aloft in defiance like a drawbridge and merely padding away balls that pitched outside leg-stump.
Michael Vaughan experimented with some bizarre fields, at one point opting for a Douglas Jardine-style leg theory, with Anderson adopting the role of Harold Larwood and five fielders gathered in catching positions on the leg-side.
The dismissal of Kallis provided one of the few highlights on the final day
Amla quickly disproved the theory that he might be susceptible to the new ball, however, with another disciplined performance.
England may have been trying to knock his helmet onto the stumps, as almost happened in the first innings, but his chin strap remained as resolute as his levels of concentration.
It continues a fine start to his first tour of England, following his two big centuries in the two warm-up matches.
McKenzie had been hampered by cramp during Sunday's play, and the problems returned after another herculean display of resistance, prompting South African skipper Graeme Smith to return to the crease as a runner.
Smith was not overly-exerted, as McKenzie failed to add to his tally before chasing one that barely pitched on the cut strip from Anderson that proved both bowler and batsman were exhausting energy reserves.
After Sidebottom, who had been troubled by a back problem, summoned up all his reserves to york Kallis with a wonderful delivery, there was a brief flurry of excitement.
Panesar began to turn the ball sharply out of the rough and gave first innings centurion Ashwell Prince problems as the ball reared up at him.
Stuart Broad had a series of catchers surrounding the off-side and he forced an error from Prince, who drove loosely but was dropped by a diving Alastair Cook in the gully.
Cook's punishment was being made to bowl, for the first time in Test cricket, and his rather rusty off-spinners signalled the point when a uniquely cricketing gentleman's agreement could be made and the match could end.
When the dust settles, it will be South Africa, who were made to follow on 346 behind in the closing stages of day three, who will take any psychological advantages into the second Test, starting at Headingley on Friday.