LONDON // Stuart Broad gave England an initial breakthrough in the limited play that was possible on the third morning of the final npower Test against South Africa at the Oval yesterday. Broad struck with his fourth ball of the second innings as a bowling change from the captain Kevin Pietersen was rewarded. The opener Neil McKenzie had already inside-edged on to his pad earlier in the over and another one crashed into his stumps to give Broad success.
England's attempts to press home their advantage were held up twice before play was abandoned. South Africa, who have already won the series, had added 73 runs to their overnight score but were still short by 12 runs from wiping off the lead. England had scored 316 in their first innings in reply to the visitors' 194. Only 82 minutes of play was possible before lunch. A pre-play shower delayed things and the overnight pair McKenzie and Hashim Amla were watchful in gloomy conditions. McKenzie took the opportunity to pierce the off-side boundary, however, with a cover drive off James Anderson in the sixth over of the morning.
Another four in the next over, sent down by Steve Harmison, was more fortuitous, however, as a top-edged pull flew to fine leg. But McKenzie's fondness for the cross-bat shot saw him nail another pulled four off Harmison shortly before his dismissal. Amla, meanwhile, continued to upper cut and drive regular boundaries, powering his 10th through the off-side off Andrew Flintoff to reach a half-century from 64 deliveries.
He later guided down to the vacant third man region for another in the same over, having been joined at the crease by Jacques Kallis. Kevin Pietersen's 14th Test hundred yesterday helped England into a position of dominance as they seek a consolation victory in a campaign they trail 2-0. * PA Sport