South Africa v New Zealand, 1st Test, Cape Town, 2nd day January 3, 2013

Brownlie fights but South Africa on top


New Zealand 169 for 4 (Brownlie 69*, McCullum 51) and 45 trail South Africa 347 for 8 dec (Petersen 106, De Villiers 67) by 133 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

New Zealand will grasp any consolation after suffering the indignity of being bundled out for 45 in their first innings and avoiding defeat in two days will do for a start. They will resume the third day 133 runs behind with six wickets remaining after South Africa's quick bowlers failed to repeat the havoc of the opening day.

Their chief source of resistance came from Dean Brownlie, who struck a 44-ball half-century to be 69 not out at the close and collected a few bruises to show for his labours after goading Dale Steyn into a hostile conclusion to the second day. The bulk of Brownlie's cricket until three years ago was played in Perth and it showed, too, as he prospered on the back foot, square of the wicket on the off side, in an enterprising post-tea innings.

South Africa were architects of their own frustration as they dropped Brownlie, twice, and Brendon McCullum in the final session. Brownlie escaped twice at gully on 23, Dean Elgar and Alviro Petersen spurning opportunities presented by Steyn and Vernon Philander respectively. Jacques Kallis' attempt to catch McCullum off Steyn at second slip was a worthier effort, but it all contributed to New Zealand adding 133 in the final session.

New Zealand had batted doggedly up to tea, but they had lost Martin Guptill for nought, when he clipped Steyn to midwicket, and Kane Williamson, who looked in the mood for some prolonged blocking until a tempting short delivery from Jacques Kallis jagged off a crack to have him caught at second slip.

New Zealand had lasted only 19.2 overs in the first innings and, if nobody seriously expected a repeat of that, they were vulnerable on a pitch showing signs of unreliable bounce. The strong winds which closed Table Mountain in the build-up to the game and cracked and crusted this Newlands surface threatened to have the final say.

Only when Brownlie began to hit about him did McCullum's mood lighten. For him to bear his responsibilities so heavily was unusual, but he was a new Test captain appointed in controversial circumstances, criticised in some quarters for an overly-optimistic attitude in batting first and then for placing excessively attacking fields in return. If he was ever going to begin a Test innings strokelessly, this was it.

He fell lbw to Robin Petersen, his decision to review the decision owing more to his status and New Zealand's plight than any realistic hope of overturning it. Daniel Flynn's colourless innings ended with extra bounce from Kallis and an inside edge to the wicketkeeper.

If South Africa were not hampering themselves by dropping catches, they were also making a hash of DRS. They failed to challenge umpire Ian Gould's "not out" ruling when to have done so would have won an lbw decision while Williamson was on 4. They then wasted a review when Gould refused a catch at the wicket with Williamson on 9, the ball having brushed the batsman's pocket.

What followed almost brought DRS into disrepute. There was a delay of nearly five minutes before the third umpire, Kumar Dharmasena, gave his decision. In the background at square leg, as endless Hot Spot replays were studied, Hashim Amla's long beard was shown as pure white and made him look like an ancient. There again, as we waited inexplicably for Dharmasena, none of us felt any younger.

Final-session frustrations or not, South Africa must feel the Test is almost won. It was difficult on a summer's day like this, with the Test entirely in command, for a South African player not to feel content, but Dean Elgar would not be happy with his world.

All Elgar had to show for South Africa's series-winning victory against Australia in Perth last month was a pair on Test debut. It was a tough ask, summoned to the tour late and expected to contribute to a series in the balance, and it proved beyond him.

At Newlands, he resumed his Test career in rather gentler circumstances, but he could not take the opportunity. Five minutes before lunch, Trent Boult made one climb outside off stump and he edged it to the wicketkeeper. He walked off shaking his head, his prototype moustache accentuating a mournful countenance.

Elgar got off the mark against his first ball, from Chris Martin, jabbing through square leg, but progression never really came. Two boundaries off Franklin in successive overs flew through slips and gully, one of them with only one hand on the bat. When he was 18, New Zealand could have overturned Rod Tucker's refusal of Boult's lbw appeal, but they failed to review.

New Zealand's seam attack had been on the short side on the first day and their ground-fielding had at times been deplorable. It would not take much to improve such standards and they did. Boult needed only one delivery to account for Alviro Petersen - the first ball of the second over. He had added three to his overnight 103 when he dragged on.

At 38 years old and after 71 Tests, Martin is aware that not too many more top-order batsmen will fall his way before he calls time on his Test career. His long service was rewarded with three more good wickets. Faf du Plessis was caught at gully, searching for one, and he bowled AB de Villiers and Peterson in successive overs immediately after lunch before Smith's declaration.

Bare head glistening with sweat and thick white headband across his forehead, Martin bounded into the crease in the happy manner of a tennis coach at a private club, intent upon communicating enthusiasm before having a knock-up with the members. As far as New Zealand are concerned, the day amounted to more than a knock-up, it was one heck of a rally.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on January 5, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    @Chris Salmon: Firstly, Ind-SA have played 5 series since 92 in SA and not 4. The 3-0 series wins you talk about has 2 series losses in the 90s. Since the 00s, it is 1-0 to SA in SA (2-0 + 1-1 + 1-1). Clearly the trend is that Ind have been improving. In fact Ind had the lead of 1-0 in 2007 series. Same could have been said for Ind-Eng and Ind-Aus but for the two 4-0 losses which no one saw coming and which I hope are anomalies :-p

    Your point could be answered in two ways. 1: When it suits others they say winning matters, whether by an innings or by 1 run. Thus, whether some nations can compete in other places should not matter. If they fail to win then they fail to win. This doesn't quite strengthen Ind's record vs others but it does mean that whether Ind lose in 4 days in RSA and SA lose to Ind in the 3rd session of the 5th day doesn't make much of a diff.

    2: Ind lose to Aus in Aus in 3 days => Ind can't compete & if Aus lose to Ind in Ind in 3 days => Pitch Complaint. Funny na?

  • Shipu on January 4, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    @Htc-Android:- Herath is a left arm spinner and Bangladesh have so many of these we're use to it in our domestic scene. Malinga doesn't play in tests anymore and can been found out the more you play against him like India does. The more you can take him on, the more easier it will be for the batsman once you get use to him bowling so he's NOT impossible besides, we took him on well at the Asia Cup which you lost to us. I hope you haven't forgotten what Samuels did to him at the World T20 final so our team will be looking at that come the ODI series. Mendis? If Bangladesh can manage Narine and Ajmal without serious problems then Mendis will be the third easiest. Sri Lanka will probably win the test series only 1-0 but Bangladesh will beat and take the ODI series but Sri Lanka needs to win all these matches otherwise there will be questions.

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    @Taimur - I hear you, and yah India have produced far more world class spinners. But I think the problem arises that India only really compete as a test nation in the subcontinent, whereas the "white" nations compete everywhere:

    For example,as a south african:

    SA record against India:

    In India test series since 1994:

    5 test series, Drawn: 2, lost: 2, won: 1. So India lead 2-1.

    In South Africa test series since 1994:

    4 test series, Drawn: 1, Won: 3, Lost: 0. South Africa lead 3-0.

    I am sure India have similar poor away records against Aus and Eng, and this during a period of ten years where you could arguably boast the finest top and middle order in the world.

    Personally I think you guys need pitches to encourage the development of fast bowlers so you can produce better fast bowlers to take wickets away from home and compete better away from home. England just beat you at home and the greats are retiring. I think you guys are in trouble for a while.

  • David on January 4, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    @ Ryan Stephen. Dale Steyn's Nagpur 7 for was part of a 1-1 drawn series in 2010. Sa won in Nagpur & India won in Kolkata. In 1999/2000 SA won a 2 match series in India 2-0.

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    " When was the last time that South Africa won a series in the subcontinent or Australia or England?"

    Remember Dale Steyns 7-for in Nagpur not so long ago? Innings victory over India leading to a series win.

    With regards to winning in Australia or England, those are exactly our last two results.

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    @Taimur Huk - You make a strong argument and I must say that i agree with you, what i want to take you to task about is your apparent misconception that race has anything to do with, How about you stop seeing color and think about your own message, stop being so prejudice in your heart.

  • Harmon on January 4, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    @Waws: So you assume that two subcontinental teams can't play good quality cricket in the subcontinent. This is just another form of a patronizing attitude that people like you have for the teams from the subcontinent. It also talks of a certain cunning trick where you ask your opponent to play on your own terms instead of proving your own salt against him in his own den. Your comment is like an Italian Chef refusing to believe that a Chinese Chef could make awesome cuisine too and saying that unless he can make good Italian food he won't be considered a good chef. In a way you are suggesting that only these 3 teams of RSA, Eng and Aus can play good quality cricket while the subcontinental teams are just not good enough on their own. Would not be too much of stretching things were I to say you are somehow implying the white man's burden here cos only these 3 teams and places can provide high quality cricket in your opinion. I hope you come out of this kind of thinking soon.

  • Dummy4 on January 4, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    @Waws-name one world-class spinner that South Africa has produced? Name another Australian spinner besides Shane Warne? name another English spinner besides Graeme Swann? Ashley Giles, Graeme Swann, and Paul Harris are club-level bowlers compared to the great spinners of subcontinent like Saqlian, Kumble, Murli, and Ajmal to name just a few. When was the last time that South Africa won a series in the subcontinent or Australia or England? It took Eng 28 years to win a Test series in India and don' t forget the humiliation they suffered against Pakistan in UAE. They only escaped with a draw in Sri Lanka against a weak and young SL team. Bottom line is, you want to make the argument that our Asian teams are not good enough to win against the "white" teams in their countries, but I can make a similar argument about the failure of the 'white" teams to win series in the subcontinent ON A CONSISTENT BASIS, AND NOT ONCE IN A LIFETIME. Don't have so much prejudice in your heart. Cheers.

  • Brandon on January 4, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    I will never rate a team from the subcontinent highly untill they can prove that they can play and perform in countries like SA ,AUS ,ENG...they are just not good enough,when last did a subcontinent team won a test series in SA,Aus,Eng ?? The standard of cricket in countries like Sri and the young guys coming through are poor,sorry to say but Sri are nothing without their big 3

  • Dennis on January 4, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    Warm Coffee should buy a bigger TV so he can see the crowd

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