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Smith leads from the front

Record Breaking Performance gives Proteas Confidence for 2nd Test.

Captain Graeme Smith broke several of his country's Test records when he put England to the sword in the first innings if the first Test at Edgbaston. Smith and Herschelle Gibbs set a new record for the first wicket against England, scoring 338 before the latter was caught on the boundary for 179. It was also the highest partnership for any wicket against England. Smith went on to break the record for the highest score made by a South African captain, before going on to set a new record for the highest individual Test score. The left-hander beat Graeme Pollock when he passed 274. He beat Darryl Cullinan and team mate Gary Kirsten when he passed 275. Eventually Smith was caught on the deep midwicket boundary, slogging Ashley Giles across the line, for 277 off 373 deliveries. The skipper later opted to declare on 594/5, which is the highest total South Africa have ever made against England. Smith has cited the support of his team mates as being a crucial factor in his record breaking innings. Smith's innings was watched by his parents, over in England for the first two Tests.

"They've been a great influence in my life. I owe a lot to them for being here today," the Western Province left-hander explained. Test fizzles out as bad light stops playŠ.. Unfortunately, bad light and rain stopped play in the last session on the fifth and final day of the first Test between England and South Africa at Edgbaston on Monday. England were 100 for one off 28 overs with Marcus Trescothick, batting with a broken finger, 51 not out and England captain Nasser Hussain 14 not out. That left England needing another 221 runs from a mimimum of 37 overs to reach their victory target of 321 after South Africa declared their second innings on 134 for four. But as the players left the field it started to rain, making a draw the result. Before then England had saved the follow-on with Ashley Giles, nine not out overnight, making 41 to take them to their safety target of 395. Meanwhile, Nasser Hussain announced his resignation as England Test captain after a four year spell in charge. Hussain, speaking after the drawn first Test against South Africa, said: "I just feel it's the right time, especially with Alec Stewart retiring at the end of this season." Michael Vaughan, who replaced Hussain as England one day captain, after the World Cup when the Essex batsman retired from international limited overs cricket, will lead the team in the second Test at Lord's starting on Thursday.


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