Kallis's unbeaten 150 brightens draw
South Africa 459 and 313 for 4 dec (Kallis 150*, McKenzie 52) drew with New Zealand 509 and 39 for 1
On a day that varied from engrossing to downright boring, Jacques Kallis displayed tremendous application to strike an unbeaten 150 on a deteriorating pitch. Neil McKenzie, who knocked a busy 52 in the morning, played the ideal Robin to Kallis's Batman. However, after the first session, South Africa's run-rate went south. An overcautious approach took them to 313 for 4 in 116 overs, and when they eventually declared, New Zealand were set 264 in 23 overs. There was never a case for a chase and the match ended with New Zealand on 39 for 1.
There was a possibility of the match being called off earlier in the day, when a few balls hit an ever-growing hole in the pitch and jagged off wickedly, and prompted an inspection by the match referee. But play resumed, and South Africa continued at a snail's pace.
South Africa had taken another approach in the morning. Kallis and McKenzie mixed caution with aggression to keep New Zealand's bowlers - particularly the spinners - at bay. All the while, Kallis revealed an array of shots as effective as his padwork. When the spinners pitched the ball on the scuffmarks, he stood back - often inches from the stumps - and played it as late as possible. But when they strayed, a damaging sweep shot often came into play. The faster bowlers provoked a different response. He cut repeatedly, and pushed the ball through the covers, and when Scott Styris bowled, the slower pace allowed Kallis the time and control to drive straight down the ground.
It was the last success New Zealand's bowlers had, because Gary Kirsten and Kallis presented a dead bat (or no bat at all) to almost everything thrown at them, until a briefly entertaining period before tea when the batsmen burst into a medley of cover-drives, square cuts, and other shots. Kirsten even stepped out and swatted a six off Wiseman before the declaration.
New Zealand, given a target of 264 in 23 overs, held out well, losing the wicket of Michael Papps on their way to 39 for 1 before the match was called off. But in that brief period, Brendon McCullum (19 not out) showed good form and attacked the bowling with powerful square cuts that beat the fielders. It rounded up a good match for McCullum, who kept wickets competently on what resembled a really bad fifth-day subcontinental turner. The spinners kept him busy, and though they bowled with near-perfect control, Kallis - in probably the best form of his life - thwarted their aspirations.