Young batsmen make New Zealanders work hard
South African Invitation XI 274 for 6 (Petersen 47*, Liebisch 4*, Boult 2-46) trail New Zealanders 311 for 6 declared (McCullum 65, Ackermann 3-46) by 37 runs
Two potential future stars announced themselves in Paarl as the South African Invitational XI made the New Zealanders work hard on the second day of their warm-up match. Rassie van der Dussen and Matthew Kleinveldt scored seventies before Trent Boult ensured the day was not a complete waste with two wickets in an aggressive spell in the final session.
The New Zealanders declared overnight to give their bowlers a decent run but soon found the going tough on a pitch that only got flatter under sunny skies. Van der Dussen, who has played for the North West amateur team and Kleinveldt, cousin of Rory, were untroubled by all three seamers who bowled within themselves and in short spells throughout the morning.
Both batsmen were strong off the front foot with Kleinveldt showing slightly more intent. They wore down the New Zealanders, who eventually had the spinners, Jeetan Patel and Bruce Martin operating from either end. The hosts went to lunch at 81 without loss before Kleinveldt brought out his more flamboyant side in the afternoon session.
His half-century came in the second over after lunch while van der Dussen continued to play conservatively, although he also reached his milestone. With both set to record hundreds the New Zealanders appeared to be on a futile mission but Martin tempted Kleinveldt with flight, drew him forward and BJ Watling completed the stumping.
The tourists' most profitable period came after tea. Colin Ackermann was caught by Martin Guptill at slip off Neil Wagner. The umpires had to confer about the legitimacy of the catch after Shaun George, who was at the bowler's end, thought it was taken off a bump ball.
Boult got his first wicket when van der Dussen played an aerial shot into the covers and Dean Brownlie took the catch. Brownlie was on the field substituting for Peter Fulton, who will take no part in the Tests after injuring tendons in his knee while batting.
Having suffered a severe stomach bug, Brownlie appeared to have returned to health and may even ask for special permission for bat on the third day. He was not named in the original 12 because of his illness but has progressed well since then and because the match does not have first-class status his request may be granted.
In his next over, Boult produced a beauty that swung into Pite van Biljoen and upset the stumps. The New Zealanders caused a mini-collapse when Uwe Birkenstock was given what could have been seen as a harsh lbw dismissal against Martin. The ball looked to be missing leg but Birkenstock left without complaint.
All the New Zealanders' quick men returned for a final burst in the last hour and Chris Martin was the only one to have some reward. He picked up the scalp of promising wicketkeeper-batsman Bradley Barnes to an lbw that few could have argued with.
The inability to bowl out an inexperienced, composite side made up of players from the amateur and under-19 competitions may see the New Zealanders cop some criticism but they should not be vilified just yet. The attack on display is unlikely to be their Test arsenal with Doug Bracewell sitting out and the pitch at Newlands should offer a little more bounce and carry than the unresponsive Boland Park strip.
Luckily, it was the only lifeless part of the ground. A healthy crowd sat under the oaks to watch the match and a sponsored event, which involved some cricket and much music, took place on the lawns at the back of the stadium. In attendance were acting CSA chief executive Jacques Faul, former national assistant coach Vincent Barnes, who now works on the High Performance Programme, current bowling coach Allan Donald and many former players from the area including Henry Williams and Johnny Kleinveldt, Matthew's father.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent