Thanks to Alastair Cook's century yesterday, English had the drivers seat firmly in control when second day's play started but South Africans made a roaring comeback to take last 7 home team wickets for just over a hundred runs and then digested last rain effected session with authority, cutting lead down below 300 mark. At the end of play press conference, wicket keeper revealed his team weren't surprized as all as the tables turned around..
“We were expecting South Africa to come hard, which they did,” he said, and then quickly pointed out that the pitch isn't as flat as everyone assumed at the start of the test match. “But I think it’s very easy to think, ‘Oh, this was South Africa’s day – and we’re not now in a good position’. Actually, it’s a very attritional wicket – quite hard to score runs quickly", Prior reasoned who's known for his attacking batsmanship and also made an important 60 which came off 90 balls.
Gloveman also had his plans set for the next day. he said :- "They've only gone at about two an over so far - and if we come in tomorrow morning and get two or three early wickets we're back in the ascendancy and a very, very strong position in this Test match.
"That's the way we'll look at it. We've got to put pressure on their batters and hope we can get a cluster (of wickets)."
Talking about Dale Steyn who triggered English collapse today, Sussex player was all praise for ICC's no.1 ranked bowler. "He's a world-class performer, we know that. He's not number one in the world for no reason,” said Prior of Steyn.
"But it's a great challenge. You want to challenge yourself against the best in the world.
"When it was going around this morning, those are the times when you have to look at it and say,'Right, I've got to thrive on this pressure and see if I can get through it’. So in a sick kind of way, it's quite enjoyable really.”
Many had anticipated England ploughing on to a first-innings score in excess of 450 following their relatively untroubled progress on the opening day.
“We ended up with 385, and I think that's a good score on that wicket,” Prior reasoned.
"Yesterday, we probably would have said we wanted to get 400. But the way the wicket changed this morning, 350 is almost a par score.
"A lot will depend on that first session tomorrow. We have the bowlers in the dressing room to do the job for us, and I'm sure we'll come out very hard.”