New Zealand v South Africa, 2nd Test, Hamilton, 1st day March 14, 2012

Steyn, Philander trigger dramatic slide

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South Africa 27 for 2 (Smith 13, Martin 18-2) trail New Zealand 185 (McCullum 61, Philander 4-70, Steyn 3-49) by 158 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A catastrophic collapse - that surrendered five wickets with score stuck on 133 - swung the match emphatically in favour of South Africa, as they dismissed New Zealand for 185 on a rain-shortened day one in Hamilton. But the hosts also struck with ball, dismissing Graeme Smith and nightwatchman Dale Steyn before stumps, to leave South Africa at 27 for 2. The rain delay, which came early in the second session, allowed only 72.2 overs to be bowled in the day.

New Zealand's capitulation came after an 89-run stand between Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor, during which the hosts progressed steadily on a pitch that offered little to seam bowlers. Dale Steyn led the mid-innings assault, ambushing McCullum with a short ball and a deep square leg, before taking the shoulder of Kane Williamson's bat with another sharp bouncer in the next over. Vernon Philander then charged through to flatten the middle order, felling Taylor, Daniel Vettori and Doug Bracewell in seven balls.

McCullum had brought up his half-century with a six over vacant square leg, but did not shelve the stroke when Graeme Smith appointed a fielder in the deep, with South Africa having persisted with the short length for much of the innings. Having chided himself for attempting to pull a short Steyn delivery in the previous over, McCullum attempted the stroke again - this time to one that had risen well over his head, taking the top edge. If he was disappointed at once again having squandered a start, his mood can't have been improved by the clatter of wickets that followed.

Taylor drove at one that was too short for the stroke, giving Graeme Smith a simple catch at second slip. In the first innings of the first Test, too, he'd departed soon after McCullum, after the pair had got themselves in. Williamson, Vettori and Bracewell then strolled in and were all on their way out again, without having scored a run - Williamson was caught at slip, Vettori was bowled by one that nipped back and Bracewell edged behind. After having been a healthy 133 for 2 in the 49th over, New Zealand had plunged to an appalling 133 for 7 in the 52nd.

Mark Gillespie and Kruger van Wyk played their shots following the slide, pushing their side quickly towards 200, but the pair could not maintain the resistance for long. Morne Morkel trapped van Wyk in front of the stumps, before Imran Tahir had Gillespie caught brilliantly by Alviro Petersen at midwicket. When Brent Arnel perished in Tahir's following over, New Zealand had gifted South Africa a mountain of momentum and the chance to bat on a quickly flattening pitch.

The pull stroke had been productive for McCullum before his demise, as South Africa seemed intent to attack via the short ball once the movement they'd anticipated at the toss failed to materialise past the first hour. He had been floored by Steyn earlier in the day, but held firm against the bounce thereafter - he blunted the bounce off the back foot when it rose to his chest, and picked up singles through a sparse on-side field when the ball was pitched slightly fuller.

Taylor favoured the cut meanwhile, climbing over the ball to hit it square, while also scoring straight when the change-up was delivered. Two commanding drives off Philander in the first over of a rain-curtailed second session betrayed the friendliness of the surface, as well as Taylor's own good form, as he and McCullum rebuilt steadily following the loss of the openers. The pair resumed in a similar vein following the weather interruption, and were rarely flustered by South Africa in the hour after the break, but both then fell in quick succession to leave the hosts tottering. South Africa then pounced to expose a long New Zealand tail.

Kruger van Wyk had to wait until his second match to bag his first dismissal, but when the chance came, his reactions were spectacular. Wrong footed by Smith who went for a booming cover drive to a wide Chris Martin delivery, van Wyk changed direction and dived low to his right to snaffle the inside edge, centimetres from the turf. van Wyk and Martin combined again to dismiss Steyn, and though South Africa's middle order will relish the prospect of batting on the flat surface on day two, the double-strike will keep New Zealand in the match - if only just.

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and has a column here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY kunderanengineer on | March 15, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    Being a neutral observer I sure hope the Kiwis can make a match out of it this time! Would be great for test cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    man all the Black Cap bashers in here is disappointing. Especially since it it seems to be coming from Kiwis. Has anyone taken a look at the score now and thought "Maybe I was being a little too harsh"?. Gillespie = Stephen Donald of the Black Caps. Go you good thing, go.....

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    SA are just a top team and we are well below average..... Simple as that. Can't beleive the way McCullum and Taylor got out. I hate reading these comments from SA supporters but that is because most of them are right! I accept being beaten by a better team as that is sport, someone has to lose, but being beaten in the way we are is embarrassing. No application, no brains, poor technique, rush of blood to the head, whatever..... Ever since Iv'e been following cricket (for 25 years) and supporting my national team it's just been full of embarrassment, going back to the drawering board, excuses, constant injuries to top players, players retiring too early, poor slections, discontent in the ranks, selecting sub-par players (Nicol / Arnel) as there is no one else. Looking foward to the ENG / SA series so I don't have to put up with the Black Caps. Worst part for me is the way they were talking themselves up after beating the minnows of minnows - Zim - At least that team has an excuse!

  • POSTED BY protea_fan on | March 15, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    Gee, how I miss Stephen Fleming mocking Graeme Smith's celebration in the slips. Gosh, where's Southee mouthing off when he gets a wicket. Darnit, shouldn't Mills be picking a fight with someone for making a human mistake right now. I'm thoroughly enjoying the team with the worst winning spirit in the world getting taught a cricketing lesson in their own backyard. The Proteas lose at the worst times, but at least take it graciously. And when they win, they acknowledge good cricket from the opposition. Unlike the Kiwis. And to Kruger van Wyk, and Kieswetter, and Pietersen, and Trott, and the rest of the mercenaries: forget any oblique excuses about race, fellas. You'll always know you simply weren't good enough to make a pretty good team.

  • POSTED BY zn264 on | March 15, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    I have been avoiding cricinfo for most of the day after seeing what happened overnight (I'm in the UK). Last I checked we were cruising at 120/2, and things were looking good for the Black Caps. All credit to SA to fight back and knock us over, well bowled...I'm happy to see a few SA supporters are not getting to ahead of themselves though as you still have to bat, and the conditions might just offer something to the NZ medium pacers. To the other SA supporters who are already talking like you have 400 on the board, or the cry baby NZ supporters saying we don't deserve to be playing in the top grade...just bite your tongue, there is plenty of cricket to come in this game. We do have the batsmen to get the job done in the side; they're just not doing it! No point trying anything new, just keep training the talent we have, most of which are young and will learn. No cricket for 6 months isn't going to help though!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    proteas are a top side there are up with the best at present .

  • POSTED BY surfking on | March 15, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    as long as AB is in the team SA will always win!!

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | March 15, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    SA have the best test teams in the world.....The no1 and no2 test teams .....They do know how to produce.

  • POSTED BY mthw on | March 15, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Gee guys, a little quick on the trigger there... What the NZ top 5 needs is a bit of stability... Not everytime they fail they make changes... Agreed that when Brownlie is fit again he should come back in and Nicol be dropped (mcCullum back to open) but That top 5 is the best top 5 we have in the country (Guptill, McCullum, Taylor, Brownlie, Williamson)... No one else deserves to be there more than these guys.. In reality, New Zealand never has been the best test team in the world and probably never will be, we have had a few patches over the years when we competed against the best... If anyone is expecting us to beat this Sth African team (2nd best team in test cricket), then of course they will be disappointed when we don't... But saying we are a disgrace is ridiculous.. I for one will still be cheering us on as Sth Africa are 27/2, and the test still has 4 days to run...

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | March 15, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    Congrats South Africa. It is truly amazing how good you are considering how much talent has been poached from your ranks by the ECB.

  • POSTED BY kunderanengineer on | March 15, 2012, 23:54 GMT

    Being a neutral observer I sure hope the Kiwis can make a match out of it this time! Would be great for test cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 23:06 GMT

    man all the Black Cap bashers in here is disappointing. Especially since it it seems to be coming from Kiwis. Has anyone taken a look at the score now and thought "Maybe I was being a little too harsh"?. Gillespie = Stephen Donald of the Black Caps. Go you good thing, go.....

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    SA are just a top team and we are well below average..... Simple as that. Can't beleive the way McCullum and Taylor got out. I hate reading these comments from SA supporters but that is because most of them are right! I accept being beaten by a better team as that is sport, someone has to lose, but being beaten in the way we are is embarrassing. No application, no brains, poor technique, rush of blood to the head, whatever..... Ever since Iv'e been following cricket (for 25 years) and supporting my national team it's just been full of embarrassment, going back to the drawering board, excuses, constant injuries to top players, players retiring too early, poor slections, discontent in the ranks, selecting sub-par players (Nicol / Arnel) as there is no one else. Looking foward to the ENG / SA series so I don't have to put up with the Black Caps. Worst part for me is the way they were talking themselves up after beating the minnows of minnows - Zim - At least that team has an excuse!

  • POSTED BY protea_fan on | March 15, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    Gee, how I miss Stephen Fleming mocking Graeme Smith's celebration in the slips. Gosh, where's Southee mouthing off when he gets a wicket. Darnit, shouldn't Mills be picking a fight with someone for making a human mistake right now. I'm thoroughly enjoying the team with the worst winning spirit in the world getting taught a cricketing lesson in their own backyard. The Proteas lose at the worst times, but at least take it graciously. And when they win, they acknowledge good cricket from the opposition. Unlike the Kiwis. And to Kruger van Wyk, and Kieswetter, and Pietersen, and Trott, and the rest of the mercenaries: forget any oblique excuses about race, fellas. You'll always know you simply weren't good enough to make a pretty good team.

  • POSTED BY zn264 on | March 15, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    I have been avoiding cricinfo for most of the day after seeing what happened overnight (I'm in the UK). Last I checked we were cruising at 120/2, and things were looking good for the Black Caps. All credit to SA to fight back and knock us over, well bowled...I'm happy to see a few SA supporters are not getting to ahead of themselves though as you still have to bat, and the conditions might just offer something to the NZ medium pacers. To the other SA supporters who are already talking like you have 400 on the board, or the cry baby NZ supporters saying we don't deserve to be playing in the top grade...just bite your tongue, there is plenty of cricket to come in this game. We do have the batsmen to get the job done in the side; they're just not doing it! No point trying anything new, just keep training the talent we have, most of which are young and will learn. No cricket for 6 months isn't going to help though!!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 15:09 GMT

    proteas are a top side there are up with the best at present .

  • POSTED BY surfking on | March 15, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    as long as AB is in the team SA will always win!!

  • POSTED BY shovwar on | March 15, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    SA have the best test teams in the world.....The no1 and no2 test teams .....They do know how to produce.

  • POSTED BY mthw on | March 15, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Gee guys, a little quick on the trigger there... What the NZ top 5 needs is a bit of stability... Not everytime they fail they make changes... Agreed that when Brownlie is fit again he should come back in and Nicol be dropped (mcCullum back to open) but That top 5 is the best top 5 we have in the country (Guptill, McCullum, Taylor, Brownlie, Williamson)... No one else deserves to be there more than these guys.. In reality, New Zealand never has been the best test team in the world and probably never will be, we have had a few patches over the years when we competed against the best... If anyone is expecting us to beat this Sth African team (2nd best team in test cricket), then of course they will be disappointed when we don't... But saying we are a disgrace is ridiculous.. I for one will still be cheering us on as Sth Africa are 27/2, and the test still has 4 days to run...

  • POSTED BY RandyOZ on | March 15, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    Congrats South Africa. It is truly amazing how good you are considering how much talent has been poached from your ranks by the ECB.

  • POSTED BY SafferBob on | March 15, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    First of all, well done Proteas - to come back like that from a position where the advantage could have been taken away is something special. When the Protea bowling attack get the bit between their teeth they can destroy any team in a matter of overs like they also did to the Aussies in Cape Town. NZ are lacking batsmen with proper technique and temperament. They just don't have guys who will guts it out for a day and a half and score big hundreds and rely way too much on BM & RT. I have to agree with Dyldog that Rob Nicol is not a test quality opener, he has got a seriously flawed technique wich is being found out very quickly. Amla is due a big one - if SA can bat for a day and a half they'll have more than enough time to roll the Black Caps.

  • POSTED BY stickywicketnick on | March 15, 2012, 10:31 GMT

    It's hardly surprising that New Zealand have 'achieved' this honour of losing five wickets for no runs three times. When you look down our batting line up other than Vettori, Taylor and McCullum there is no one else who looks like scoring runs. Williamson must be dropped for Flynn or Brownlie (depending on how Brownlie goes in his first 1st class game back since being injured). Rob Nicol is obviously not up to test quality, but really since Fleming and Richardson we haven't had an opener that is... McCullum's, Taylor's and really New Zealand's inability to score centuries is gifting the opisition a strong position. When Mark Gillespie is your 3rd highest scorer, you know your team is having problems.

  • POSTED BY Andy_S. on | March 15, 2012, 10:27 GMT

    @Stephen Holloway - I agree with you, I really do! Who DO you replace them with? My initial remark was a tad tongue in cheek because of Guptil and Nicol's failure but I firmly believe that the REAL villains are NZ Cricket! Go to the top of the page and click on Country, then look at the games being played by England, Oz, SA, WI, India, Pakistan between now and September (CWC) and you will see that each is playing at least 4 Tests, half a dozen ODIs and a dozen T20s. Then have a look at what NZ are doing! I'll save you the torture mate, the answer is NOTHING!!!!! Once this series has finished that's it until September! WHY?????? Even over our (alleged) summer, the only "Test" cricket has been against Zimbabwe and SA. Well Zimbabwe was a REAL challenge eh? I would have put Kamo High School out against them and beaten them! This is where the problem lies afaiac. Southee is sent back to ND and the Plunkett Shield! That'll sort him out no doubt. Yeah right!

  • POSTED BY Brenton1 on | March 15, 2012, 10:26 GMT

    Good days play from SA. Now lets see how the batting goes. IF SA can bat the whole day tomorrow we should in complete control. If not then it should be game on for the NZ team.

  • POSTED BY JG2704 on | March 15, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    agreed with Justtogood - We have to wait until SA have batted to see how bad the NZ score was. The fact that NZ play Vettori at 6 suggests that they have loaded up on more bowlers than batsmen. Also VP and DS are absolute quality and could do that to any side , esp in helpful conditions. Steyn has been number 1 for a while now and I'd say VP could eventually become number 1 and will be a top 10 bowler for a number of years.

  • POSTED BY Marktc on | March 15, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    Steyn ( now say he is out of form and should be dropped) and Philander did brilliant work. It is worrying how many runs the tail scored though. Round one to SA. Having said that, we have not batted yet, and only when we do, can we judge who is ahead. Right now I would say pretty even. I also think it is a lousy idea to use Dale as a nightwatchman. His batting down the order is improving and he has scored valuable runs for us down the order. Placing his wicket at risk, as they did today, is foolish as now he is gone, thus cannot make a contribution later. Use Philander or Morkel. Both are competent enough to hold the attack for a couple of late overs. Use Dale where he is valuable.

  • POSTED BY Theredbaron on | March 15, 2012, 10:19 GMT

    I think NZ need a new manager, I was thinking about Chris Cairns, I'm sure he will be able to force a positive result one way or the other

  • POSTED BY Safferfan on | March 15, 2012, 10:13 GMT

    I have said it before and I will say it again. The Black caps do not have the quality of players needed to match SA, be it in bowling or batting. If a combined side would be chosen (SA and NZ) I think you would maybe have 1 player from NZ. That says it all. I do like the way they try though, kudos to them for that.

  • POSTED BY Theredbaron on | March 15, 2012, 10:12 GMT

    When is Graeme Smith going to work on his off stump tecnique. You cannot rely on playing down the leg side to accumulate runs. Come on Kirsie, help the man to move his front foot to the pitch of the ball, them he will unlikely to play on or get caught behind like today. Good catch today by our South African export.

  • POSTED BY StoneRose on | March 15, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    As I keep saying NZ need an extra batsman rather than 5 bowlers

  • POSTED BY justtogood on | March 15, 2012, 9:37 GMT

    @all kiwi supporters - Lads a little harsh i think on you team!!?? the other thing is that we havent batted yet so lets see, and all the saffas on here dont be to suprised if we only make 220-275 we 2 down already albiet steyn aint really a batsman.....

    The other thing I will say is all those guys who were saying steyns out of form and bla bla bla?? what you say now???

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    Let us wait for the SA innings to unfold before commenting on the travails of NZ batsmen. No doubt the SA are a stronger side but give some space for NZ cricketers.

  • POSTED BY nzcricket174 on | March 15, 2012, 8:46 GMT

    Bring back Brownlie and Ryder! And if neither are available Daniel Flynn should make his comeback in place of Nicol.

  • POSTED BY Jeremybc on | March 15, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    I don't understand why we stopped opening brendon mccullum - he and guptil have a really good opening partnership average. Then Taylor at 3 and williamson/ryder/brownlie and nicole scrapping it out for the middle order. Continuing to open with nicole when his technique isnt up to the new red ball is putting pressure on the team, particularly guptill - one brings two often.

    Its obviously a start that limits our chances of not losing a lot, but lets jujst wait and see...we dont know how good conditions are until both sides have batted. we won in hobart from here

  • POSTED BY Lermy on | March 15, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    Our NZ team are a disgrace and an embarrassment in test cricket. They should not be playing the longer form of the game against front line nations. Where is the challenge for teams like SA, whose bowlers only got out of second gear once in the game, and look what a mess they made? Had SA bowled like that from ball one,we would have set a new record low test score. The result of this series is so predictable (weather permitting) that the only interest is in what new depths NZ can plumb. Just too one sided. Can we have Zimbabwe back again please?

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Andy_S who do we replace them with? Brownlie is injured he is the only batsman who could come in. As for Southee the guy isnt taking wickets, regardless of what score we are defending you dont win a test if you dont take wickets. His action has fallen to pieces and he is bowling all over the show. He deserved to be dropped. In looking to blame people obviously you blame the batsmen but the problem is they are the best we have. Some of them just arent up to it at the moment and others are losing the mental game against the best bowling attack in the world.

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    133/7 well-done, however 185/10 means 52 runs were scored by the tail. In england that might cost us with broad, swan and bresnan capable of slogging 80-90 runs between them. We need to address this issue quickly. Rap the tail up south africa!!

  • POSTED BY youfoundme on | March 15, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Rob Nicol has to go, Kane Williamson should go to back to first class and Martin Guptill is on the edge as well. Jesse Ryder shouldn't have been dropped, and Daniel Flynn should have been a first choice replacement. The guy had some tough luck early in his career, has a bad run of form and is suddenly out of contention for a couple years. I would hope that once BJ Watling is fit enough he, takes over from Kruger van Wyk too (as in the next match, please), as I want to see him tested with the bat by quality opposition. And finally, why in the world was Trent Boult dropped? Our selectors need to stop hiding our young players from decent batsmen, and actually push them to their limit. If our team selection was stable and consistent, I'm sure our performances would improve ten-fold.

  • POSTED BY WJ77 on | March 15, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    Go Dale and Vernon!!!! Well done boys!! The most important thing is for SA to capitalize on the NZ collapse. Think NZ will be worried about batsmen getting very decent starts and not making it count. We need to put up 450 in the next two days and then bowl at NZ. with rain being forecast for the last day we must only bat once and make it count. If we can get to lunch tomorrow without losing a wicket it will be great. Peterson Amla make us proud, big hundreds!!

  • POSTED BY stone-mason on | March 15, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    It is always very easy to accept the competence of one's team and or country when they compete well, but its tough to acknowledge that you know your team is punching above its weight and could very well run out of steam. I trully appreciate the GRITT & Tenacity expressed through Kiwi Cricketers, and am always circumspect to be cocky and full of swagger. However, I am fianally dropping my modest act, and wish to come out stating that I think there will be very little if any chance at all for the Ferns to grab back the advantage in the series. I will however admit that the Proteas still has to accumulate runs and beyond the Kiwi reach, but as matters stand, and bearing on the recent form of the SAFFAS, a TALL order awaits the Ferns even with rain considered. Yes you are competing, and well too, but hey! Steyn's back and Venemous Viper Vern never let-go yet. Who knows how dire it could get with batters scoring handsomely and Magical Morne joins the party - name your counter punchers?

  • POSTED BY wanatawu on | March 15, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    5 wickets for none that's crazy, it just proving that if NZ batted the 5th only 1 wicket was needed to let them tumble.

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    Dale steyn back in form!nz will be destroyed in 2nd innings again.

  • POSTED BY Bruce_Robinson on | March 15, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    South Africa's attack is as good as there is in Test cricket right now and they are, obviously testing the NZ batsmen in both technique and temperament. SA put in some really hard work after the break but RT and BM worked just as hard to survive. Technique stood up to the test but, in the end, it was temperament that failed BM and what followed was an absolute disaster. If the SA batsmen can be patient tomorrow and build a platform then the game is there for the taking.

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Well when you have a look at the NZ batting line up, there is only 2 that would have a chance of serviving and scoring against probrably the best quick bowling line up in the world at the moment. It is a good thing that they will not have to face up in bowler friendly conditions.

  • POSTED BY Andy_S. on | March 15, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    Well, well, well! Our magnificent openers have done it again! Goldenballs Guptil managed a whole 22. Wonderboy Nicol a whopping great TWO!!!!! I wonder who is going to be to blame for this debacle? Has to be a bowler because the batsmen, it would appear, are untouchable. All very well getting rid of Southee but the bowlers need a score on the board that they can defend and THAT is the job of the batsmen!

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  • POSTED BY Andy_S. on | March 15, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    Well, well, well! Our magnificent openers have done it again! Goldenballs Guptil managed a whole 22. Wonderboy Nicol a whopping great TWO!!!!! I wonder who is going to be to blame for this debacle? Has to be a bowler because the batsmen, it would appear, are untouchable. All very well getting rid of Southee but the bowlers need a score on the board that they can defend and THAT is the job of the batsmen!

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Well when you have a look at the NZ batting line up, there is only 2 that would have a chance of serviving and scoring against probrably the best quick bowling line up in the world at the moment. It is a good thing that they will not have to face up in bowler friendly conditions.

  • POSTED BY Bruce_Robinson on | March 15, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    South Africa's attack is as good as there is in Test cricket right now and they are, obviously testing the NZ batsmen in both technique and temperament. SA put in some really hard work after the break but RT and BM worked just as hard to survive. Technique stood up to the test but, in the end, it was temperament that failed BM and what followed was an absolute disaster. If the SA batsmen can be patient tomorrow and build a platform then the game is there for the taking.

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    Dale steyn back in form!nz will be destroyed in 2nd innings again.

  • POSTED BY wanatawu on | March 15, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    5 wickets for none that's crazy, it just proving that if NZ batted the 5th only 1 wicket was needed to let them tumble.

  • POSTED BY stone-mason on | March 15, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    It is always very easy to accept the competence of one's team and or country when they compete well, but its tough to acknowledge that you know your team is punching above its weight and could very well run out of steam. I trully appreciate the GRITT & Tenacity expressed through Kiwi Cricketers, and am always circumspect to be cocky and full of swagger. However, I am fianally dropping my modest act, and wish to come out stating that I think there will be very little if any chance at all for the Ferns to grab back the advantage in the series. I will however admit that the Proteas still has to accumulate runs and beyond the Kiwi reach, but as matters stand, and bearing on the recent form of the SAFFAS, a TALL order awaits the Ferns even with rain considered. Yes you are competing, and well too, but hey! Steyn's back and Venemous Viper Vern never let-go yet. Who knows how dire it could get with batters scoring handsomely and Magical Morne joins the party - name your counter punchers?

  • POSTED BY WJ77 on | March 15, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    Go Dale and Vernon!!!! Well done boys!! The most important thing is for SA to capitalize on the NZ collapse. Think NZ will be worried about batsmen getting very decent starts and not making it count. We need to put up 450 in the next two days and then bowl at NZ. with rain being forecast for the last day we must only bat once and make it count. If we can get to lunch tomorrow without losing a wicket it will be great. Peterson Amla make us proud, big hundreds!!

  • POSTED BY youfoundme on | March 15, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    Rob Nicol has to go, Kane Williamson should go to back to first class and Martin Guptill is on the edge as well. Jesse Ryder shouldn't have been dropped, and Daniel Flynn should have been a first choice replacement. The guy had some tough luck early in his career, has a bad run of form and is suddenly out of contention for a couple years. I would hope that once BJ Watling is fit enough he, takes over from Kruger van Wyk too (as in the next match, please), as I want to see him tested with the bat by quality opposition. And finally, why in the world was Trent Boult dropped? Our selectors need to stop hiding our young players from decent batsmen, and actually push them to their limit. If our team selection was stable and consistent, I'm sure our performances would improve ten-fold.

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    133/7 well-done, however 185/10 means 52 runs were scored by the tail. In england that might cost us with broad, swan and bresnan capable of slogging 80-90 runs between them. We need to address this issue quickly. Rap the tail up south africa!!

  • POSTED BY on | March 15, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    Andy_S who do we replace them with? Brownlie is injured he is the only batsman who could come in. As for Southee the guy isnt taking wickets, regardless of what score we are defending you dont win a test if you dont take wickets. His action has fallen to pieces and he is bowling all over the show. He deserved to be dropped. In looking to blame people obviously you blame the batsmen but the problem is they are the best we have. Some of them just arent up to it at the moment and others are losing the mental game against the best bowling attack in the world.