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Broad in ball-tampering allegations

A fresh ball tampering row threatened to overshadow a day when South Africa captain Graeme Smith put his side firmly in control of the third Test.

CAPE TOWN // A fresh ball tampering row last night threatened to overshadow a day when South Africa captain Graeme Smith put his side firmly in control of the third Test. The hosts submitted concerns to match referee Roshan Mahanama after TV pictures spotted wicketless England fast bowler Stuart Broad standing on the ball. But visiting coach Andy Flower refuted the allegations, after a day when Smith's 162 not out led South Africa to a massive lead of 330 with eight second innings wickets remaining.

"The umpires and match referee have not said anything to us," said Flower after his side were destroyed in 40C degrees heat yesterday. "Over the years we've seen a lot of tall fast bowlers stop the ball with the boot so I don't see anything sinister in it at all. "Our bowlers were very skilful in swinging the ball in the last two Tests. It's a very well documented skill. "This amazing amount of swing going from Stuart Broad standing on the ball obviously hasn't happened."

Morne Morkel, who earlier took five for 75, refused to be drawn into the argument but admitted: "After the new ball you need to find a way to bowl sides out. "Obviously they've got it right and we've also tried. It's finding a way to do that. "There's different ways of doing things and you need to prepare a ball - that plays a big role in reversing it." Despite two days to play with cooler weather conditions, Flower said England could pull off a Great Escape.

"We can attack with the new ball in the morning and look for early wickets," he said. "If we don't get those early wickets we'll have to bat very well. "There's still hope for us. Our guys have a lot of fight in them." sports@thenational.ae

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