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England rode their luck before securing a draw in the second Test against South Africa after bad light and rain denied the hosts a chance to level the four-match series at Newlands. The Proteas took six wickets in the second innings to flirt with the possibility of claiming an unlikely fifth day victory before Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali's stubborn resistance, coupled with inclement local conditions saw the game fizzle out.
The early dismissals of captain Alastair Cook (8), Alex Hales (5) and Joe Root (29) had England 55 for 3 and with a narrow lead fearing the prospect of becoming the first side to lose a Test after scoring 600. Dane Piedt then came to the fore with three wickets to decimate the middle order with half of the day's play still remaining.
But England clung on after Baistow (30 not out) survived being stumped by Quinton de Kock, with the maiden centurion from the first innings putting on 43 from 134 balls with Ali (10 not out) to see off the hosts' threat. As the pressure intensified after tea, the umpire hauled the players off for bad light with England 159 for 6 and leading by 161, in an anticlimactic end to a game littered with historic moments.
Rain later followed to end any hope of the match restarting to leave England 1-0 up going into the final two Tests of the series at the Wanderers and Centurion. South Africa will take many of the plaudits from the game after pushing England until the very end on the final day and seeing their captain Hashim Amla return to form with a memorable double century.
A South Africa attack, which saw 20-year-old Kagiso Rabada impress and Piedt continue his decent start to life as a Test player, will be bolstered by the return of Dale Steyn for the third Test following a shoulder problem. England, meanwhile, despite the heroics of Ben Stokes and Bairstow in their first innings will be concerned at how their standards – particularly in the field – dropped from their emphatic win in Durban at the start of the series.