Central Districts v South Africans, Napier, 1st day March 5, 2004

McKenzie stars for South Africans

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Day 1 of 3 Central Districts 36 for 2 trail South Africans 286 for 5 (McKenzie 100*, Boucher 58) by 250 runs

Neil McKenzie ran up an unbeaten 100 to provide the South Africans some solidity after a shaky start to their match against Central Districts at Napier. After McKenzie reached his hundred, Mark Boucher, the captain, declared the innings at 286 for 5 and gave his bowlers a dozen overs in which they reduced their opponents to 36 for 2. Andre Nel and David Terbrugge bowled with hostility and picked up a wicket each, and left Central Districts with a rebuilding job on their hands.

McKenzie walked in with the South Africans tottering at 86 for 3, and struck 12 fours and four sixes in the kind of innings his team sorely needed after their failures in the one-day series. He found an ally in Boucher, who scored 58 in a 115-run partnership for the fifth wicket that rebuilt the innings. Then Nicky Boje tonked a quickfire 38 and added 81 runs with McKenzie before the innings came to a close.

Jacques Rudolph struck 42 and put on 44 with Herschelle Gibbs, who was the first of Andrew Schwass's three wickets. However, Rudolph could not convert his start into a more substantial innings, and when Schwass removed Gary Kirsten (4) and Martin van Jaarsveld (21) soon after, the score was 90 for 4. It was then that McKenzie made his case for selection.