Prince and Styris enliven final day
New Zealand 593 for 8 dec and 121 for 3 (Styris 54*, Oram 8*) lead South Africa 512 (Amla 149, Prince 108*) by 202 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Ashwell Prince and Scott Styris brightened an otherwise dull final day at Cape Town with two attractive innings, and Dale Steyn bowled an impressive spell, as the second Test petered out into a draw. After Prince brought up his hundred in the morning session, Styris opened his shoulders to reach a brisk fifty before bad light once again forced the players off.
While Ntini has bowled so impressively and with such character all season, he has lacked a regular new-ball partner with whom he can create pressure. Steyn, who played in the first Test, showed glimpses of brilliance but today he bowled with consistent accuracy, not to mention great pace.
Both Peter Fulton and Michael Papps were troubled by his line - which, after straying once down the leg-side, was consistently on or just outside off-stump - and the late away-movement he was getting. On several occasions Papps prodded forward without moving his feet, or wafted expansively without taking the outswing into consideration. And although he reached 20 at nearly a run-a-ball, his four boundaries all came from thick edges between third slip and gully, none of which he was ever in control of. Again, no third man was in place, gifting runs to a batsman clearly unsettled by pace.
It wasn't a surprise, then, when he drove uppishly to gully - although it took a fine two-handed catch from Prince, buoyed from his hundred, diving to his left. Like Papps, Fulton's feet appeared to be stuck in the crease; he was especially troubled by the wide angle Ntini created and fell three overs later edging him to Jacques Kallis at second slip.
As the ball became softer, and his confidence grew, Styris grabbed the initiative with a medley of glorious drives and powerful cuts, including one particularly authoritative punch down the ground off Andre Nel. Indeed, as in the first innings, Nel struggled with his line and rather let Stryis and Nathan Astle off the hook as they put on 40 for the third wicket. After tea, Styris motored along, twice powerfully sweeping Nicky Boje against the spin to the deep mid-wicket boundary to bring up his fifty. While Styris looked smooth, Nathan Astle scratched an unconvincing 12 before Jacques Kallis - bending his back on an unresponsive fifth-day pitch - squared him up.
Earlier it was Prince who dominated with the bat, although at one stage it appeared likely that South Africa would struggle to reach 500 when James Franklin, bowling with the old ball, removed Mark Boucher in just the fourth over. Despite the placid pitch, Franklin was still able to gain appreciable bounce and Boucher, attempting to pull, got a top edge to first slip. He followed this with Boje's wicket the following ball, who was trapped in his crease by a ball which appeared to be slipping past his leg-stump.
Nel negotiated the hat-trick delivery to put on 27 turgid runs with Prince, who batted with fierce determination all morning. The hundred, his fourth in Tests and second this season, was brought up in great style with a straight-driven four off the untiring Franklin as South Africa edged their way past 500. Solid throughout his innings without ever truly dominating the bowlers, Prince remained unbeaten on 108 when Ntini needlessly ran himself out to end South Africa's innings.
Stephen Fleming used his captain's prerogative to move himself down the order and rest a tired body and, more importantly, mind. His thoughts had long since turned to the final Test and plotting New Zealand's efforts to square the series.
Michael Papps c Prince b Steyn 20 (34 for 1)
Loose shot driven in the air to gully, superb catch
Peter Fulton c Kallis b Ntini 11 (41 for 2)
Edged to second slip
Nathan Astle c Smith b Kallis 14 (81 for 3)
Squared up, leading edge to cover
Mark Boucher c Fleming b Franklin 33 (435 for 6)
Miscued top-edge flew high to first slip
Nicky Boke lbw Franklin 0 (435 for 7)
Ball stayed low
Andre Nel lbw Franklin 12 (462 for 7)
Late swing, batsman stuck in the crease
Dale Steyn st McCullum b Vettori 13 (495 for 8)
Skipped down the pitch but beaten in the air
Makhaya Ntini run out (Astle) 11 (512 all out)
Hit straight to mid-on
Will Luke is editorial assistant of Cricinfo