New Zealand v South Africa, 1st Test, Dunedin, 1st day March 7, 2012

Martin burst turns first day New Zealand's way

76

South Africa 191 for 7 (Amla 62, Smith 53, Martin 3-34) v New Zealand
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A Chris Martin triple-strike just after tea justified Ross Taylor's decision to bowl first on a placid Dunedin surface, as New Zealand first toppled South Africa's top order giants, then made headway into the tail, to leave the visitors on 191 for 7 at stumps on the first day. Heavy clouds failed to deliver the swing Taylor had banked on, but Martin's stunning spell against his favourite opponent among the top-eight nations, turned the innings, and drew first blood in the series.

The drama of Martin's surge was heightened by its abruptness. Following a sleepy first session that offered so little for the pacemen that South Africa seemed destined for a mammoth total, Martin snaffled Graeme Smith, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers in four balls to tear the guts out of the opposition top order.

The rush of intensity was immediately apparent in Martin's first few balls after tea. Twice he beat Smith's outside edge, before hitting the batsman on the midriff with a straighter one. Having finished the previous session somewhat deflated, New Zealand suddenly sensed change. When Smith scooped the next one to short cover, they were positively buzzing.

The first ball of Martin's next over was sharp, short and angled. Too good for Kallis who could only manage an edge, which Taylor flew to his left to intercept. AB de Villiers was trapped by an indipper first ball. His review interrupted New Zealand's celebrations momentarily, before replays confirmed the shout was as plumb as they come. From a comfortable 86 for 1, South Africa had slipped to 90 for 4.

The recovery from South Africa, though somewhat short-lived, was swift and pleasing to the eye. Hashim Amla unfurled the offside strokes that bore him fruit in the ODI series, as he nullified a reinvigorated New Zealand pace attack that were once again searching for scalps. Purring cover drives and crisp square cuts found the ropes, and in 80 balls, he and Jacques Rudolph had scored 66.

But having crossed 50, Amla fell to his nemesis from earlier in the innings. His tussle with Daniel Vettori had been the most engrossing battle of the earlier session, when the spinner's turn beat his outside edge in his attempts to defend, and Vettori's flight outdid enterprising scurries down the pitch. That time, the release had come for Amla when he finally connected to launch Vettori into the stands. But in his first over after tea, Vettori landed the knockout punch when he got one to kick, taking Amla's edge.

Mark Boucher was then the victim of the run-out South Africa looked like offering thoughout the day. Smith and Amla had survived one chance each, when fielders failed to hit the stumps. But this time, no direct hit was necessary. Boucher bounded from the non-striker's end when Rudolph worked Vettori to point, and Bracewell swooped and found Kruger van Wyk's gloves with his throw, to leave the visitors at 161 for 6. Dale Steyn succumbed soon after, with Taylor snaffling a rebound from Martin Guptill in the slips to leave his side much the happier of the two at stumps.

The day had begun so promisingly for South Africa after almost four hours were lost to rain, when Graeme Smith progressed untroubled to a 31st Test half-century. New Zealand's decision to insert the opposition on a slow, batsmen's track seemed like folly when hopeful, full lengths from Martin, Trent Boult and Tim Southee were punched through the line by Smith in particular.

Misjudgment on line, rather than significant movement removed Alviro Petersen for 11, but with Amla and Smith progressing smoothly, and the cloud cover expected to clear for the evening session, a large total beckoned. Smith was punishing on the leg side, when New Zealand's pacemen abandoned their hopes for swing and muscled it in short, and his flick off middle stump for four just prior to tea epitomised his command of conditions. But things were about to change, and quickly.

Edited by Nikita Bastian

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and has a column here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Vista12 on March 8, 2012, 0:07 GMT

    @ drnaveed - Yeah but compare that one series loss since Feb 2009 to the other top 5 teams and you will notice that SA hasnt lost a series in over 2 years unlike Oz (3-1 against Eng), India (4-0 against Oz and Eng) and England (3-0 against Pakistan).

    Those are also facts. So what is your point? I think the rankings are fairly accurate at the moment but the next 12 months will really show where every team is. England is still the best team in tests (overall - just) followed by SA, then Aus and Pakistan and India. Oz and Pakistan have the most potential to claim the number one spot in 2 years time.

  • on March 8, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    @jonesy2 yes we do including world class talent, steyn, morkel, phillander, tahir, kallis, de lange, fridel de wiet etc. Anyway who do u reckon has the best bowling attack in the world?

  • Maccanui on March 7, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    Re: ReverseSweepIndia, it's probably a bit of a stretch to call Vettori the best all rounder of our times, or Martin the best bowler of our times, but we are very lucky to see such true greats in action.

  • SirViv1973 on March 7, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    This is probably the best NZL bowling attack I can remember and I've been watching cricket for 30 years, So I thought they would have the ability to bowl the saffers out for some quite low scores. Problem is the batting. Ross Taylor is the only batter who would get in to a top 4 team. As an Eng fan I hope the NZL batsmen prove me wrong and back up their bowlers, Brownlee looks a find shame he isn't fit!

  • JG2704 on March 7, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    NZ will obviously be the happier of the 2 sides and fair play to them for their fight back. NZ will obviously want to prove that the Aus 2nd test was them being good as much as Aus being bad. I will say to NZ fans not to count their chickens. There are 2 inns per side and SA have an awesome pace attack and their inns isn't over yet either.

  • kitten on March 7, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    Guys, this is only the first day for God's sake. NZ won the first T20, and then didn't get a look-in to date. So let's not be hasty and jump over the moon. NZ have undoubtedly fared exceptionally well, and we all hope they mop up the tail without undue delay, and then bat well, and post in the region of 300-350. Then again, we have to see whether SA collapse again. We can expect that of India, Pakistan, SL, even England, but SA is another kettle of fish. If it does happen again, then kudos to NZ, and I am sure the whole world will be happy for them. But let's take one step at a time. Don't misunderstand me, I am all for the underdogs, and will be happy if NZ do well. Looking forward to the second day's play.

  • Lipoflegend on March 7, 2012, 20:13 GMT

    The SA tail is pretty useful. so they may be able to put another 50-100 runs on the end. A score of 250+ is defendable, and we should get at least parity in the first innings. Having said that, if Martin can get swing, then Steyn should be able to get SWING. And "McGrath" Philander is an unknown quantity to the Kiwis still.... So is Tahir. This is shaping into an interesting tussle!

  • on March 7, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    Awesome day from the boys but once again I read some comments and guys think that because we won one day out of five we have a shot at winning the series. Hate to be pesimistic but I still back SA to win quite easily. Really hope that isn't the case but seen it so many times from the Black Caps over the years where they show tons of potential then come crashing back down to earth and if anyone can do that to us SA can - Steyn and Co will be a massive handful but if we can get on top early with our batting as well we might have a chance. But then we got to bowl them out again and I doubt their big names will let that happen on a improving batting batting pitch. Hope they can step up and prove me wrong!!!

  • Sombrehombre on March 7, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    I agree with Kiwi Jake, come on Dunners put on a few bone chilling freezing cold windy days for us (with no rain of course). NZ need everything in their favour still to get a result here.

  • glance_to_leg on March 7, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    Fantastic start from NZ, but SA will probably fight back. Could people stop making pointless digs at one another. Sorry to sound so English, but it is just not cricket. Let's look forward to an exciting game.

  • Vista12 on March 8, 2012, 0:07 GMT

    @ drnaveed - Yeah but compare that one series loss since Feb 2009 to the other top 5 teams and you will notice that SA hasnt lost a series in over 2 years unlike Oz (3-1 against Eng), India (4-0 against Oz and Eng) and England (3-0 against Pakistan).

    Those are also facts. So what is your point? I think the rankings are fairly accurate at the moment but the next 12 months will really show where every team is. England is still the best team in tests (overall - just) followed by SA, then Aus and Pakistan and India. Oz and Pakistan have the most potential to claim the number one spot in 2 years time.

  • on March 8, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    @jonesy2 yes we do including world class talent, steyn, morkel, phillander, tahir, kallis, de lange, fridel de wiet etc. Anyway who do u reckon has the best bowling attack in the world?

  • Maccanui on March 7, 2012, 22:25 GMT

    Re: ReverseSweepIndia, it's probably a bit of a stretch to call Vettori the best all rounder of our times, or Martin the best bowler of our times, but we are very lucky to see such true greats in action.

  • SirViv1973 on March 7, 2012, 21:45 GMT

    This is probably the best NZL bowling attack I can remember and I've been watching cricket for 30 years, So I thought they would have the ability to bowl the saffers out for some quite low scores. Problem is the batting. Ross Taylor is the only batter who would get in to a top 4 team. As an Eng fan I hope the NZL batsmen prove me wrong and back up their bowlers, Brownlee looks a find shame he isn't fit!

  • JG2704 on March 7, 2012, 21:29 GMT

    NZ will obviously be the happier of the 2 sides and fair play to them for their fight back. NZ will obviously want to prove that the Aus 2nd test was them being good as much as Aus being bad. I will say to NZ fans not to count their chickens. There are 2 inns per side and SA have an awesome pace attack and their inns isn't over yet either.

  • kitten on March 7, 2012, 21:06 GMT

    Guys, this is only the first day for God's sake. NZ won the first T20, and then didn't get a look-in to date. So let's not be hasty and jump over the moon. NZ have undoubtedly fared exceptionally well, and we all hope they mop up the tail without undue delay, and then bat well, and post in the region of 300-350. Then again, we have to see whether SA collapse again. We can expect that of India, Pakistan, SL, even England, but SA is another kettle of fish. If it does happen again, then kudos to NZ, and I am sure the whole world will be happy for them. But let's take one step at a time. Don't misunderstand me, I am all for the underdogs, and will be happy if NZ do well. Looking forward to the second day's play.

  • Lipoflegend on March 7, 2012, 20:13 GMT

    The SA tail is pretty useful. so they may be able to put another 50-100 runs on the end. A score of 250+ is defendable, and we should get at least parity in the first innings. Having said that, if Martin can get swing, then Steyn should be able to get SWING. And "McGrath" Philander is an unknown quantity to the Kiwis still.... So is Tahir. This is shaping into an interesting tussle!

  • on March 7, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    Awesome day from the boys but once again I read some comments and guys think that because we won one day out of five we have a shot at winning the series. Hate to be pesimistic but I still back SA to win quite easily. Really hope that isn't the case but seen it so many times from the Black Caps over the years where they show tons of potential then come crashing back down to earth and if anyone can do that to us SA can - Steyn and Co will be a massive handful but if we can get on top early with our batting as well we might have a chance. But then we got to bowl them out again and I doubt their big names will let that happen on a improving batting batting pitch. Hope they can step up and prove me wrong!!!

  • Sombrehombre on March 7, 2012, 19:32 GMT

    I agree with Kiwi Jake, come on Dunners put on a few bone chilling freezing cold windy days for us (with no rain of course). NZ need everything in their favour still to get a result here.

  • glance_to_leg on March 7, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    Fantastic start from NZ, but SA will probably fight back. Could people stop making pointless digs at one another. Sorry to sound so English, but it is just not cricket. Let's look forward to an exciting game.

  • ReverseSweepIndia on March 7, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    Ahhh! greatest allrounder of my times is on the ground, best bowler of my times is in the game. A wicketkeeper with world record on dismissals is there too. BUT, I wake up at 3 in the morning to watch, whom? Phantom? I was bit dejected I could not see him bat today, but I am not gonna stop waking 3am. Pleasure is there to be mine I know. Till then I am going to be enjoying his bowling. Go Phantom!

  • 2.14istherunrate on March 7, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    A very evenly poised situation- i suspect the SA bowlers will enjoy this one. Just have to say too that this ground is so pretty-wow!!

  • Al.Turner on March 7, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    this is the game I love, first chance since I was young to see ball by bal,l with a busted knee to ensure it...I have followed closely the NZ team since 1982 and have the year book signed by Lance Cairns, Richard Hadlee, Jeremy Coney,Ian Smith, Ewen Chatfield,Glen Turner and the then young Martin Crowe and John Wright....so now JohnWright is back and we saw how he turned India around. NZ's resources are not deep but whoever will keep playing cricket right through to be eligable for a NZ cricket team must be a true sportsman.....to beat South Africa a truelly proven great team will be a follow on from beating Aussie in their back yard last test.....NZ Cricket needs to see us lift up the rankings so great teams want to play us every season.......so go the Black Caps...Martin, Bracewell, Vetorri, Nicol,Boult and Southee finish them off and then batsmen get that 500 like this pitch can offer....be patient to their great quicks, tire them out and then push for the win on the 5th day.Al NZ

  • moloko on March 7, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    if sa can get 250 il also be happy, rudolph must make sure he stays there till we gey bowled out. i still think sa will stil have a first innings lead as long as they get 250. morkel steyn and philander will be too much for new zealand

  • letsgoproteas on March 7, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    Kiwis supporters are getting a bit excited - I guess its the only chance they'll get to be.

  • Trickstar on March 7, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    @Pablo123 From the sound of it you didn't watch any of the test series in 09/10 against England, if SA had managed to get the last wicket in those 2 tests , it wouldn't have been anything like by a innings, that's just a straight up lie. In the first test, England were set to chase 364 in the 4th inning, the best SA could have won by if they bowled England out is by 140 runs. The second test England smashed SA and did win by a innings and in the 3rd test again England were chasing a target which was 468 and again there was no chance of a innings win. Get your facts straight otherwise you look stupid bud.

  • on March 7, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    SA was put into bat by the local side.They know somethimg we dont know.i THINK THE CHOICE OF VENUE IS A SHOCKER-ITS A COUNTRY VENUE.SA had an off day and we can only assume yjeir quickers will do some damage.Smith and Amla played nicely the rest shocking.Lets see a 250 posted.

  • Trickstar on March 7, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    @shovwar You can talk all you want, they're still pathetic at home especially for a supposed strong side, one win in nearly four years a joke, what side have they beaten in the last 3 years, no one, minnow bashed, that's all they do, WI and SL. that's it. How can this be a great side or even worthy of the No1 spot, they just don't win enough series, they've managed to hover around the top 3 because they draw series that's all. You cling on to the undefeated thing all you want, it doesn't make them winners, they just don't do enough of it.

  • Duty281 on March 7, 2012, 15:10 GMT

    As I'm an England fan I am absolutely loving this. Easy 400+ pitch for South Africa against (no offence) the third weakest bowling unit in Test Cricket. Instead they're 191/7! I think we'll hold onto that NO.1 spot for a while yet!

  • Imad_K on March 7, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Probably just a blip by SA. They will probably score close to 270/280. Then get NZ out for around 220. Then they will score around 350 plus and win the game from there.

  • StoneRose on March 7, 2012, 14:57 GMT

    Don't speak too soon, NZ batting is weak

  • Gordo85 on March 7, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    The rest should be able to chip in with some handy runs if we are lucky. Still the match is not over by any means.

  • mr_hag on March 7, 2012, 14:48 GMT

    Another 90 runs for SA tomorrow. NZ all out for 130, to follow-on. Will score 220 in their 2nd innings. SA to win on day 4 will need 70 runs. They'll make it with 5 down, having forgotten how to choke.

  • on March 7, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    This test match is despite NZ's early success still evenly poised. After all, NZ won only one of the two sessions played! This is the beauty of test cricket where you have ebbs and flows all the time. I guess the first session on the second day will be crucial. Whatever SA scores, they will have to restrict NZ to under 250 in their first innings. Any deficit up to 60 runs on the first innings is manageable. I am not too sure how the pitch will play on the 4th and 5th days and what amount of spin I.Tahir will extract then. Anyway, test cricket is alive and well and the best form of the game by far!

  • TsoroM on March 7, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    Well this wasn't the best of starts to the test series from the boys. However NZ have not yet batted and with the kind of bowling attack SA have I really wouldn't read much into this if I were NZ. SO I can't wait to see how the test match plays out over the nesxt for days...

  • kunderanengineer on March 7, 2012, 13:31 GMT

    Great effort by NZ, Martin in particular. However, before we get ahead of ourselves here, I think we should reserve judgement at least until NZ has had their first turn at bat. Remember, this was the same SA team that not so long ago dismissed the Aussies for 47.

  • jonesy2 on March 7, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    Bongani Kato-- best bowling attack in the world? i see south african cricket fans are kidding themselves as much as english fans

  • jonesy2 on March 7, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Front-Foot-Lunge --- haha what? they will obviously fare a lot better because martin is a better bowler than all of them put together. mate noone cares about england are their poor cricketers.

  • on March 7, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    lol SA strongly overrated...

  • jonesy2 on March 7, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    drnaveed --- do you see why the ICC rankings are a joke? how are SA playing to be the number 1 side when they have hardly won a series in the last 2-3 years...???

  • DannoTheManno on March 7, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    I'd feel pretty stupid right now.. if id been witewashed in a one day series and only won 1 game out of 6 in an entire series and then thought that one good session made me as good or better than my clearly dominant opposition.. but then.. id be a new zealand cricket supporter

  • jonesy2 on March 7, 2012, 12:53 GMT

    great day for NZ, good batting wicket, tough bowling. dont reckon the SA bowlers will have much impact if the NZ batsmen play smart and straight. i always looks forward to wathcing steyn but like a said before the start, i dont reckon they have much more. vettori is such a boss, one of the top 5 test cricketers of this century.

  • SuperSharky on March 7, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    Just as I and a few other saffers expected; When Martin, Vettori and the other experience guys are back, things will be tougher. Not that the younger kiwi lads were totally out of it, but experience do create legends like Crow, Hadlee, Cairns, Fleming, Astle, Harris and ect. Gary Kirsten and especially Allan Donald warned the Proteas about Martin. Martin is class, but so will be Steyn & Co. I think the Proteas would prefer cold, rainy & cloudy conditions when bowling. And sunny conditions when batting.

  • hersheybar on March 7, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    *correction

    University Oval Average 1st innings score at University Oval is 310 Average 2nd innings score at University Oval is 343 Average 3rd innings score at University Oval is 150 Average 4th innings score at University Oval is 128

  • Hazeyrocks on March 7, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    I can't wait to watch Steyn, Vern, Morne, Kallis bowl. Especially Kallis, hates coming second and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets a fiver. All Martin can do any of the SA bowlers can do better

  • Wexfordwonder on March 7, 2012, 11:40 GMT

    @Maccanui Its a long time to go before anyone need fell silly. Test cricket is played over 5 days. Yes, day one belongs to NZ but day 2,3,4 and 5 are still open books. Little early to start crowing mate.

  • hersheybar on March 7, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    @drnaveed Something else you should keep in mind is that Ind, Aus and Eng all regularly get 5 match test series away and at home... SA always get 2 or 3 game series... I think that counts against SA too, especially if you throw a rain affected game every now and then. All the drawn series you just mentioned indicates that SA would have had to whitewash every opponents to win them... wow!

    Give SA more tests!

  • Maccanui on March 7, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    I'd feel pretty stupid right now if I was one of the big shot saffa supporters who were running their mouths off before the real cricket started. A good session from the lads but very early days yet and they will need to back it up with the ball in the morning (we need more from Boult and Southee) and then bat well, our undoubted weakness. Still, not a terrible start.

  • Kiwi-Jake on March 7, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    If NZ can get rid of the SA tail quickly on day 2 then they are putting themselves in a good position. University Oval is a 300-350 run wicket on average, so SA not completely out of it either considering NZ's proneness to batting collapses. I didn't see the match but I reckon the cold Dunedin climate is perhaps attributing to the Proteas batting performance. We could really do with a 10 degree day to stiffen up Steyn and Morkel when they're bowling!

  • ZAHIDMOHSIN on March 7, 2012, 11:10 GMT

    Good start for NZ , i need to see them up

  • zn264 on March 7, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    @Pablo123, so what your saying is we should ignore the stats and just state that NZ is the better side then? SA are a great side and I think the writing on the wall should be their stats, just look at the big man Kallis, what an amazing player.

    Oh and what is with this '250 should be a good first innings score' rubbish? This wicket is a belter and you should have been on track for 400 plus but your middle order was ROLLED. The best batting conditions will be tomorrow afternoon and the start of day 3...perfect.

  • Jeremybc on March 7, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    This NZ team obviously doesnt have the tremendous individual records or team ranking of the SA but I think its important to remember they are a fairly unknown quantity - this test side is fairly new and so are the tactics they are employing with J.Wright as their new coach.

    They have drawn a series against AUS in their own back yard - so we obviously know they have the potential. Compare that with a SA team who travel well but haven't really nailed a side on the scoresheet recently - I think this will be a closer series than the SA fans think.

  • Empty-Sequence on March 7, 2012, 10:22 GMT

    No matter how much SA score, they have the bowling to reduce the opposition 100 runs below anytime anyday.

  • WJ77 on March 7, 2012, 10:16 GMT

    Great job by Martin. I think if SA can score 250 they will be satisfied. After the first innings by NZ we will have a better idea of what this pitch is all about. Martin himself said after the days play that tomorrow there might be a bit more swing in it, will be interesting to see if that is the case if so the NZ batsmen may be in for a torrent time. But first things first they need to not let the tail wag, go tail wag!!! :) GO SA!!

  • on March 7, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    Supa_safa get your head out of the ground. this is a good nz team that will compete, a very well balanced talent pool with a good mix of experience, new boy enthusiasiam,and more importantly want to become better and build on hobart.Your team is getting old, tired and stale.Mc cullum, taylor and williamson to get runs, vettori not needed..good luck

  • on March 7, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    SA has played about 14 tests less than England and yet their are a few points away from that England top spot. they are not regarded as the most consistent team in the last 3 years for nothing. People should relax and watch cricket thats about to follow. its still day one. The NZ batsmen should wish SA bat some more because they are not ready to face Philander yet.

  • on March 7, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    C'mon SA you can't expect to win. What do you think this is? Rugby?

  • shovwar on March 7, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    @drnaveed.....U r wrong!!!! What to digest? The fact that SA have been the only Team in the world who has been undefeated in test series since 2009 when they lost to Aus at home but forgot to mention that just before that series SA achieved wut non other could: Beating OZ in Aus. We are infact proud that no nation could beat us since then or else you can say we are the only nation in the top 5 are still unbeaten since then....SA has been the most balanced test team since then and especially the best traveller. They played good cricket all over the world unlike others. Thanks for reminding us of that...We are proud of it. And yes very soon SA would be the no.1 team officially....NZ played good but I really dont think they can hold longer...NZ would most probably make less then the total SA would score in the first innings. They won the first t20 and remember what happened after that!

  • on March 7, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    I think our ability to collapse will cost us the series in england and draw 1-1 instead of a 2-1 win. To be honest i'm not sure that NZ are on top i can see them bowled out for 100 or less, RSA has the best bowling attack in the world. A low scoring match could be on the cards here.

  • jplterrors on March 7, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    Turn and spin from Vettori, guile and skill from Martin. How the heck did SA get up to 191?

  • Supa_SAFFA on March 7, 2012, 9:46 GMT

    A decent day for SA, all things considered. If our tailenders can add another 30 runs to the total we should be all but assured of victory by an innings.

  • zn264 on March 7, 2012, 9:40 GMT

    Well how about that aye? It's almost worth going back and reading all of those one sided comments from yesterday just for a chuckle. I know it is only day 1, but boy what a start and what a difference some experience in the side makes. I'm in London and could only stay awake for the first session and I thought we were in some real trouble after the ball and pitch just didn't offer us anything, so those figures show how good Marto really is. C'MON New Zealand....Four more days!!! (George Gregan voice)

  • Pablo123 on March 7, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    Dr Naveed - reading stats is one thing, I watched all those test my friend. SA was always the better side, except maybe the return home series against AUS - something was a miss in that series, other than that, they dominated their opposition. Test results are a sneaky thing as a draw shows just that, but does not show that England in two tests were hanging on by a thread. In two tests they saved them by one wicket. That SA home series against England was some of the best test cricket I have ever seen, if you missed it, that is a shame. Both tests should have been won by an innings but SA could not get the last man out on both occasions. So once again, don't read into SA's stats, they are a monster team and NZ will soon understand why.

  • DaveS99 on March 7, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    To Zeeshan Arshad - Chris Martin can do the same with the bat. I have no doubt that he can get himself out 3 times in 4 balls!

  • hersheybar on March 7, 2012, 9:14 GMT

    Good to see some comments by NZ fans, you guys have been a bit quit after the first T20... Interesting days cricket, but I wouldn't get too carried away. Well done Martin, you have shown that you still have a good few years in you. :) Let's see what day 2 has to offer. I think that 250 will be a competitive first innings score if the Proteas can get there. Go Proteas!

  • Marktc on March 7, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    Until both teams have faced the ball, it is difficult to judge but not one of South Africa's finest performances. Think if SA can reach 250 odd, it won't be too bad. Good bowling from NZ though.

  • on March 7, 2012, 9:05 GMT

    show me the headlines tomorrow after NZ bat and tumble down in the same session for probably lower than 43, what the OZs managed in cape town lately.

  • letsgoproteas on March 7, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    191 on the board and still more to come. GL NZ!

  • on March 7, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    Hi drnaveed Your SA friends don't mind those stats at all. What you are saying is that SA have only lost 1 test series in over 3 years. They are ranked second in the world, so only England have better stats over the same period. In fact, if SA manage to win this series and whitewash NZ they will be the number 1 side in the world. So digest those FACTS!

  • on March 7, 2012, 8:38 GMT

    7 wickets down is a really good result on a placid pitch that offered little assistance. personally think Taylor should have chose to bat. I think bowling showed a lack of confidence but after the one day series its no great surprise!

  • justtogood on March 7, 2012, 8:34 GMT

    @drnaveed - BUT we havent been withe washed for who knows how long when we leave SA like the likes of ENGLAND, INDIA, and so on!!! trust me I would rather have SA's record!!! but yes lets wait and see how the black caps bat on this pitch??!!!

    SA drew in India and AUS - not tom many teams can say that!!! and drew with the team that absolutley destroyed the best team in the world....I am very happy with SA cricket and think a lot of people are very or just jelous.....

  • on March 7, 2012, 8:33 GMT

    Round 1 to NZ after a very ordinary first hour with the ball. This sets up a very interesting Test match. With no more rain interruptions a result is quite likely as the pitch should get tricky for batting in the latter stages. Well done to NZ for springing back. They showed more fight today than they have in the past few weeks.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on March 7, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    Wow, where did all these Kiwi fans pop out of? Havent heard from any of them since their series against Zimbabwe!!! hahaa. Its the first day, dont pop the champagne corks just yet, you still have to bat against the best bowling attack on the planet (in my opinion)

    Obviously im dissapointed to lose 2 of our best batmen for ducks. But i still think 250 on this wicket is competitive. The weather for day 2 is sunny but the remainder of the test will be overcast. Day 1 belongs to the Kiwis.

  • FatBoysCanBat on March 7, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    I think the Phantom will hit his peak when he is about 50...he is just getting better the more he ages. On a serious note: It was a tough day for Boult [in particular] and Southee but they will hopefully be better for it. Rudolph will hurt us tomorrow morning if we don't remove him early and Philander is a very accomplished first-class batsman so we have to nail those 3 wickets as early as possible and then the batsmen have to ram home the advantage...I think we will need atleast a 50-100 run lead to gain the advantage. I don't think many people [particularly NZers] realized that our Test side is vastly different to our ODI and T20 teams and didn't give us a chance. 7 out of the 13 players named for this Test were not in the ODI or T20 squad. I know it has only been one day but this is shaping up to be an interesting series.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 7, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    If South Africa succumb to Martin this easy, just think how they'll fare again Anderson, Broad, Bresnan and Finn!

  • on March 7, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Amazing how three seniors can lift and change a team so much, however 1 day out of 5 is only a start. NZ will need to dismiss SA fast and hopefully score a good total.

    Being Autumn (its not summer ok, stop kidding yourselves anyone not from the south island) in NZ, we can expect more rain/overcast days.... so fast wickets and bowling out a team is really the only way to win in NZ!!

  • SafferBob on March 7, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Lets first see how the BC batsmen fare on this wicket. I believe 250 will be a good first innings score.

  • Brenton1 on March 7, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    So far so good for NZ but it is difficult to judge how good a score is until both teams have batted. Day 2 should be an interesting day.

  • tompuffin on March 7, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Good job NZ!!! The experienced hands of Martin and Vettori making the vital incisions into their equally battle hardened counterparts in the SA line up!!! But NZ MUST not get carried away. They have won 1/2 sessions played so far, another 12 to come, and they MUST rip through the lower order tomorrow. India have shown that an inability to do so can add an extra 100+ runs. Then, comes that batting which will be a more difficult, but not impossible task, seeing as the pitch is looking so flat. Good on ya, you've made my early morning wake up and disappointment as play was delayed all the more worth it!

  • on March 7, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    if only c.martin could do the same with a bat ...

  • on March 7, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Well done New Zealand, but one session does not a series make! I still think South Africa will take the series without losing a single match.

    But 191/7 has certainly knocked any complacency (or arrogance) on it's head, hasn't it?

  • on March 7, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Cometh the hour cometh the man... Martin; one of the most under rated opening bowler from the land of the long black cloud. At this age?! his form... still has a lot to offer to NZ test cricket... like clock work against the left handers, pure magic watching him bowl against them.

  • on March 7, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    Hahah, so who was talking up the South Africans?? I actually think New Zealand has a very good chance in this test series with the experience of Vettori, Taylor and Martin back in the side

  • Lermy on March 7, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    So, we found SAs weakness, slow straight medium pace... ...who would have thought??!! Somehow I think they may be able to overcome this particular vulnerability before the series is out.

  • drnaveed on March 7, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    just checking the SA cricket teams test matches progress since FEB 2009,facts are really interesting one. in 2009 SA played a home series against AUS(result 2-1 in favour of AUS).then they played a home series against ENG (result draw 1-1).in 2010 SA visited IND (result draw 1-1 ).then they visited WI, defeating them 2-0.then they played against PAK in U.A.E. (result draw 0-0 ).than they played a home series against IND (result draw 1-1 ).in 2011,they played a home series against AUS (result draw 1-1).finally in 2011-12 they played a home series against SL (result 2-1 in favour of SA).they have recently played so many drawn test series.loosing series against AUS. winning tests series against WI and SL which are not among top four test playing sides in ICC rankings,and are comparatively weaker sides.again, my SA fans will not like it, but these are real facts,which they have to digest. yes their record was far better than before FEB 2009.

  • AspiLfc on March 7, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    Good Job C.Martin you are getting better with the age!!

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  • AspiLfc on March 7, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    Good Job C.Martin you are getting better with the age!!

  • drnaveed on March 7, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    just checking the SA cricket teams test matches progress since FEB 2009,facts are really interesting one. in 2009 SA played a home series against AUS(result 2-1 in favour of AUS).then they played a home series against ENG (result draw 1-1).in 2010 SA visited IND (result draw 1-1 ).then they visited WI, defeating them 2-0.then they played against PAK in U.A.E. (result draw 0-0 ).than they played a home series against IND (result draw 1-1 ).in 2011,they played a home series against AUS (result draw 1-1).finally in 2011-12 they played a home series against SL (result 2-1 in favour of SA).they have recently played so many drawn test series.loosing series against AUS. winning tests series against WI and SL which are not among top four test playing sides in ICC rankings,and are comparatively weaker sides.again, my SA fans will not like it, but these are real facts,which they have to digest. yes their record was far better than before FEB 2009.

  • Lermy on March 7, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    So, we found SAs weakness, slow straight medium pace... ...who would have thought??!! Somehow I think they may be able to overcome this particular vulnerability before the series is out.

  • on March 7, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    Hahah, so who was talking up the South Africans?? I actually think New Zealand has a very good chance in this test series with the experience of Vettori, Taylor and Martin back in the side

  • on March 7, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    Cometh the hour cometh the man... Martin; one of the most under rated opening bowler from the land of the long black cloud. At this age?! his form... still has a lot to offer to NZ test cricket... like clock work against the left handers, pure magic watching him bowl against them.

  • on March 7, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Well done New Zealand, but one session does not a series make! I still think South Africa will take the series without losing a single match.

    But 191/7 has certainly knocked any complacency (or arrogance) on it's head, hasn't it?

  • on March 7, 2012, 7:38 GMT

    if only c.martin could do the same with a bat ...

  • tompuffin on March 7, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Good job NZ!!! The experienced hands of Martin and Vettori making the vital incisions into their equally battle hardened counterparts in the SA line up!!! But NZ MUST not get carried away. They have won 1/2 sessions played so far, another 12 to come, and they MUST rip through the lower order tomorrow. India have shown that an inability to do so can add an extra 100+ runs. Then, comes that batting which will be a more difficult, but not impossible task, seeing as the pitch is looking so flat. Good on ya, you've made my early morning wake up and disappointment as play was delayed all the more worth it!

  • Brenton1 on March 7, 2012, 7:46 GMT

    So far so good for NZ but it is difficult to judge how good a score is until both teams have batted. Day 2 should be an interesting day.

  • SafferBob on March 7, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    Lets first see how the BC batsmen fare on this wicket. I believe 250 will be a good first innings score.