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England bowlers strike early as hosts drop Ntini

South Africa have dropped fast bowler Makhaya Ntini (pictured) for the third Test against England in Cape Town. At lunchtime, the hosts were on 51 for 2 after having lost the toss and the early wickets of Ashwell Prince and Hashim Amla.


AFP - England won the toss and sent South Africa in to bat on the first day of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands on Sunday.

Fast bowler Makhaya Ntini was dropped from the South African team and replaced by Friedel de Wet.

Light rain delayed the start by half an hour and skipper Andrew Strauss' decision was probably influenced by damp and heavily overcast conditions.

Ntini's omission had been widely expected after the 101-Test veteran performed poorly in the first two Tests of the series, which England lead 1-0.

Ntini did not participate in the South African team's pre-match warm- ups.

A report in the London Sunday Telegraph claimed Ntini, 32, intended to announce his retirement from international cricket and that he had signed a pre-contract agreement to play for English county Middlesex as a Kolpak player.

Cricket South Africa media spokesman Michael Owen-Smith said he was unaware of Ntini reaching an agreement with Middlesex.

"He is contracted to Cricket South Africa which means he cannot sign any contracts without CSA's agreement," he said.

England announced the same team that won the second Test in Durban by an innings and 98 runs, with Paul Collingwood passed fit after suffering a dislocated left index finger in Durban.



South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Mark Boucher (wkt), Paul Harris, Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Friedel de Wet.

England: Andrew Strauss (captain), Alastair Cook, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt Prior (wkt), Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Graham Onions.

Umpires: Daryl Harper (AUS), Tony Hill (NZL)

TV umpire: Aleem Dar (PAK).

Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI).


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