SA vs Eng: A draw after an exciting final day

The flurry of wickets was in complete contrast to the first four days when both teams scored more than 600 runs in their first innings and 1272 runs were scored for the loss of only 13 wickets. After four days of unrelenting sunshine, the sky was partly overcast on Wednesday.

Dane Piedt bowled well on the final day and ended up picking three crucial wickets.   -  Getty Images

England overcame a scare to draw the second Test at Newlands on Wednesday after South Africa threatened to pull off one of the most unlikely final-day victories. Neither side looked capable of pulling off a win when England resumed on 16-0 - leading by 18 - on day five after the Proteas declared on 627-7 in reply to 629-6.

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But South Africa were scenting an incredible triumph in Cape Town when the tourists were reduced to 87-4 lunch. England were then reeling on 116-6 when spinner Dean Piedt (3-38) dismissed first-innings double-centurion Ben Stokes (26) and James Taylor (27).

However, Jonny Bairstow followed up his maiden Test ton in the first innings by making 30 not out and Moeen Ali (10no) also frustrated the top-ranked Test team before rain and bad light ended play with England - who lead the four-match series 1-0 - on 159-6.

Kagiso Rabada had England captain Alastair Cook (8) caught behind down the leg side off the eighth ball of the day with just 17 runs on the board. Chris Morris then took another stunning catch in the slips to dismiss Alex Hales (5) off the bowling of Morne Morkel (1-26) as the Proteas attack proved to be far more threatening second time around.

Joe Root (29) was given a life when he edged Morkel to AB de Villiers at second slip on 17, only for replays to show the big paceman had over-stepped. Root failed to make the most of his reprieved as Morris (1-21) cleaned him up with his first ball and Nick Compton (15) dug in before throwing his wicket away by chipping Piedt straight to Faf du Plessis just before lunch.

Taylor launched Piedt for a straight six and breathed a huge sigh of relief when he attempted a sweep off the spinner which Rabada dived full length to catch, but then dropped when he landed on the turf. Stokes hit four boundaries and looked comfortable until he hit straight to deep square-leg and Piedt got his man when Taylor gloved him to short-leg to leave England in the mire on 116-6.

The floodlights came on in the afternoon session and Bairstow feared the worst when he missed a Dean Elgar delivery on 20, but the third umpire deemed that the wicketkeeper-batsman had just got back into his ground. Bairstow and Moeen put on 43 in a defiant stand before the rain came early in the evening session to end South Africa's hopes of forcing a remarkable victory.

The Proteas' final-day dominance should give them great heart ahead of the third Test, which gets underway in Johannesburg next Thursday.