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Wed Apr 16 18:03:31 SAST 2014

I wanted to be just three down, says AB

TEAMtalk Media | 03 August, 2012 09:520 Comments
England v South Africa: 2nd Investec Test - Day One
AB de Villiers of South Africa bats during day one of the 2nd Investec Test match between England and South Africa at Headingley on August 2, 2012 in Leeds, England
Image by: Gareth Copley / Getty Images

Batsman AB de Villiers acknowledged that South Africa could have finished in a stronger position had they not lost two wickets to the second new ball late on day one of the second Test at Headingley.

Sitting pretty on 254 for three, the Proteas then slipped to 262 for five as England seamers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn removed de Villiers and nightwatchman Steyn respectively.

De Villiers chopped a thick edge onto his stumps to depart for 47, while Steyn was clean bowled for a duck. Alviro Petersen, meanwhile, remained unbeaten on 124.

Out for a duck in the series opener, Petersen was convincing in his redemption, striking 16 boundaries during his 266-delivery stay at the crease. Thursday's milestone was the fourth century of his Test career, and first against England.

"Alviro did extremely well, paced his innings extremely well - and we all played around him," said de Villiers. "But I would have loved to have been three down at the end of the day, but they just bowled too well towards the end."

Petersen and captain Graeme Smith were key to a solid start for the South Africans after home captain Andrew Strauss won the toss and opted to bowl first.

The pair put on 120 for the first wicket, which would have been considerably less were it not for umpire Steve Davis' controversial dead ball ruling in the 12th over of the day.

Caught behind off the bowling of Steven Finn, the left-hander was given a reprieve after Davis ruled the delivery null and void. Warned earlier in the day that the ball would be called dead if the seamer again accidentally toppled the bails at the non-striker's end with his knee mid-delivery stride, Finn proceeded to make the same mistake - and paid the price.

"It is part of the rules, and I think the umpire did very well," added de Villiers. "There were a couple of warnings that went out, and he was consistent after that first call - which is what any cricketer asks for.

"Unfortunately, there was a wicket on the first one he called, which made it interesting. But he stuck to his guns, under pressure."

Smith was eventually out for 52 after holing out to backward square-leg off the bowling of Tim Bresnan.

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I wanted to be just three down, says AB

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