South Africa v New Zealand, 1st Test, Cape Town, 3rd day

Innings win for South Africa in under three days

The Report by David Hopps

January 3, 2013

Comments: 91 | Text size: A | A

South Africa 347 for 8 dec (Petersen 106) beat New Zealand 45 (Philander 5-7) and 275 (Brownlie 109) by an innings and 27 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Dean Brownlie plays the pull, South Africa v New Zealand, 1st Test, Cape Town, 3rd day, January 4, 2013
New Zealand have not only shown determination, in Dean Brownlie's case they have shown improvement © Getty Images

New Zealand have a maiden Test hundred from Dean Brownlie to provide some consolation at the end of a Test which they will want to forget, but although they could slow the South African juggernaut they were not about to escape its inevitable destination. Victory fell to South Africa by an innings and 27 runs with tea approaching on the third day at Newlands and, if New Zealand's humiliation was no longer quite as stark, they were comprehensively outplayed.

Brownlie's mix of ability and spirit was a suitable reminder that New Zealand need players possessing not just one of those qualities in abundance, but both as they seek to remedy one of the most challenging periods in their recent history. They are unlikely to compete in the second Test in Port Elizabeth - it is Nos. 1 v 8 in the Test rankings and a weakened squad is not about to disguise that - but they will be desperate to regroup in time for a home Test series against England in March.

Vernon Philander needed only 26 deliveries to take five New Zealand wickets first time around as South Africa inflicted the lowest score on a Test side for 39 years, an explosive start to the Test that deservedly won him the man-of-the-match award. In contrast, it took him 22 overs to take a wicket in the second innings, which said something about New Zealand's response to adversity, and his exertions were not without their concerns as he left the field near the end for treatment on the hamstring strain that almost ruled him out of the Test.

After pulverising their opponents on the opening day, the only question for South Africa was exactly when an overwhelming victory would be completed. In removing BJ Watling, the last recognised batsman, Philander immediately pronounced that the end was near. New Zealand's last six wickets brought another 106 on the third day, but the last five wickets fell in ten overs and it was all rounded off by a comical run out of Chris Martin, whose inability at No, 11 has been well chronicled, but who could bat blindfolded with a banana and it would not begin to justify such a farcical conclusion.

South Africa can take much pride in such a triumphant restatement of their power in their first home Test for a year. It was far better for New Zealand to reflect merely upon Brownlie. Here was a batsman trying to make a name for himself, reaching a maiden Test century in a manner that was the stuff of dreams. He skipped down the pitch without a care in the world to the left-arm spin of Robin Peterson and deposited him over long-on for six. The catch was held in the crowd by a small boy who watched himself on the big screen and will probably cherish the moment just as long.

Smart stats

  • Since losing their first Test against New Zealand after readmission, South Africa have won 13 and lost just one of the next 21 Tests. Their last loss came in Auckland in 2004.
  • Since the beginning of 1995, South Africa have a win-loss ratio of 12 against New Zealand. Excluding Tests featuring Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, only Australia's record against New Zealand (14-1) is more lopsided during this period.
  • South Africa continued their excellent record in Cape Town since their readmission. Since 1991, they have won 17 and lost just three of the 25 matches played at the venue. Their win-loss ratio of 5.66 is the second-best for a team at a particular venue in the same period (min 15 Tests).
  • DeanBrownlie became the eighth New Zealand batsman to score a century against South Africa in Tests since 1990. He is also the third to do so in Tests in Cape Town.
  • Since the beginning of 2012, New Zealand's No. 4 batsmen have averaged 61.70 in Tests, with five hundreds in 21 innings. Their No. 4 batsmen have scored 22% of all runs scored by the batsmen. Their other top-order batsmen (Nos. 1-7) have averaged 24.90.
  • Chris Martin scored his 36th duck in Tests. Only Courtney Walsh, with 43 ducks has more.

That was the dream sequence; with the second new ball came the wake-up call. Brownlie and Watling had whittled down South Africa's commanding first-innings lead of 302 on an obdurate morning and Graeme Smith summoned the new ball with an air of impatience with the lunch interval only minutes away. His decision came up trumps as Morne Morkel banged the fourth delivery in short of a length, Brownlie went for the cut as he had so often, but the extra bounce deceived him and he holed out to Peterson, stationed for that very eventuality at deep-backward point.

It felt like a naïve dismissal, brought about by good captaincy, but Brownlie deserved only good memories. The confident manner in which he achieved that maiden Test century brought a celebratory dash to a mettlesome innings which had sent New Zealand's mood soaring.

Brownlie preferred to combat Peterson's left-arm spin on the back foot and even on a pitch offering little turn it got him into a tangle on occasions, but Steyn and Morkel's natural length was too short to take advantage of the uneven bounce available on a fullish length and Philander was also seen off with relative comfort. The pitch had lost the zip that exposed New Zealand on the first morning and Brownlie, comfortable on the back foot, rarely erred.

His first Test hundred, in his eighth Test was a characterful one - a dashing start as he peppered the boundary square on the off side, dropped twice on 23, a more cautious outlook against the old ball as he resumed on 69, with lots of swaying and leaving on the back foot, and finally a leap through the 90s with two sixes in consecutive overs against Peterson - the first of them a long hop that he hauled over midwicket.

Philander's chance with the new ball came after lunch so he could have a session on the physio's bench before bowling. He had only two overs before he was switched to the Kelvin Grove End for the first time and in the match and his threat grew as a result. In successive overs, he had James Franklin dropped at gully, a low chance for Alviro Petersen, Watling's resistance for three-and-a-half hours in making 42 ended at first slip, and Doug Bracewell went for nought, squared up for another slip catch, this time at third.

New Zealand were still 50 runs away from making South Africa bat a second time and it became apparent that they were hopelessly equipped for the task. Jeetan Patel, at No. 9, lacked the technique or courage to deal with Steyn (neither attribute comes easily, as many can testify) and he had been struck on the body and backed away to square leg several times before he chopped Steyn onto his stumps as he retreated some more.

Steyn was not about to abandon a short-ball policy at this juncture. Franklin, like Watling, had become New Zealand's second batting verruca - painful, unsightly and taking some shifting - but he went across his stumps to try to turn him behind square and dragged the ball onto his stumps. Finally, farcically, came the run out of Martin, run out for nought without facing a ball, sent back after attempting an impossible second to Steyn at fine leg to stay off strike.

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by bobbo2 on (January 6, 2013, 23:43 GMT)

To be fair to NZ, the team in SA is nowhere near its best side. Taylor and Ryder are hands down NZ's best batsman followed by Vettori. And the best bowler in Southee is also missing.

No doubt SA are a far better side, but if NZ had its best team over there I'm sure we'd be a little more competitive. NZ's team should be:

Guptill, McCullum, Williamson, Taylor, Ryder, Brownlie, Watling (until Ronchi qualifies), Vettori, Southee, Bracewell, Boult / Martin

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 6, 2013, 12:50 GMT)

@Mankappan Hu: Si Baker is not 'dreaming' that NZ won in a test match in Aus, they did it last year in Hobart! Why not do some research before writing this stuff.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (January 6, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

@Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar - Stop behaving selfishly, nobody wants to see a 'few' top teams playing eachother over and over again. Not many teams play test Cricket so get use to it if the other teams are not as strong.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2013, 11:12 GMT)

@SI Baker Thanks for your response.NZ have finally managed to draw a series in SL and so you think they belong to top tier .and when did NZ beat Aus in must have been dreaming..(since we are mainly talking about test matches here ref:8-0 mauling for india)India is fielding their worst side in 20 years and unless the reload finishes there will be defeats like this.But has NZ ever played well except when Sir Hadle/Crowe had their days..and you seem to ignore the present test match which NZ has managed to lose in 3 days.Ind drew their last series (it was in 2011 just 2 seasons back)in SA.How many test matches have NZ won in SA---ZERO.And i thought you were from 19th century school of thought since you seem to have misplaced loyalty towards foundation members and their loyal boards.And my suggestion to include counties as well for 'competitive' cricket was pun.hope you have 'deciphered' my message..

Posted by   on (January 6, 2013, 8:04 GMT)

@Mankappan Hu: I've now managed to decipher your last post, so, notwithstanding your bizarre reference to the 19th century as well as to the equally bizarre fact that you seem to believe that English county sides should be included in international cricket, I'll do my best to answer your question. NZ belong in my (purely notional, as Surly Cynic pointed out to you) First Division because they managed to beat Australia in Australia & SL in SL &, but for what I'd euphemistically describe as some decidedly eccentric umpiring in the Second Test against India, would've walked away from that series with a 1-1 draw as well. India, by contrast, suffered not just eight monumental hammerings on the trot against England & Australia, but were also conclusively beaten at home by England & would've drawn that series against NZ *and* been beaten 2-1 at home by WI had the umpiring in both those series been even remotely adequate. Does that answer your question?

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 5, 2013, 18:51 GMT)

@aahahaa: Bowlers bounce Steyn when he bats #10, so why can't he bounce Patel who bats #9? The days of the 'bowlers club' are long gone. If Patel can't face bouncers he should stick to tennis ball cricket.

Posted by aahahaa on (January 5, 2013, 17:32 GMT)

SA beat them square except Steyn bouncing Jeetan, not gentlemanly at all.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (January 5, 2013, 16:42 GMT)

New Zealand has been an awful team historically barring a couple of all time greats like Sir Hadlee, Martin Crowe etc. It's no different now. In fact, it's getting worse. I don't even know the names of more than half of their current players. I seriously think they shouldn't be allowed to play test cricket. It's sad but they need to go. I also think, India, NZ, SL, Bangladesh and may be West Indies have to be relegated to a lower grade test cricket and see how they perform there. This is getting silly to allow these teams to play test cricket with stronger teams.

Posted by SurlyCynic on (January 5, 2013, 16:01 GMT)

@Mankappan Hu: That's pretty funny. You post a comment asking who is worst out of Ind, SL, NZ - Si Baker gives his opinion that it is India, then you get really upset and tell him to stop living in the 19th century! If you don't like the answer don't ask the question, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. Besides, there are plenty of articles on India and SL so let's keep this relevant to the SA vs NZ subject of the article.

Posted by Dasarathy on (January 5, 2013, 15:54 GMT)

Because of NZ mismanagement, now team is suffering without even putting a fight in SA. The absence of Ross Taylor costs too much. Very much surprised that Taylor has been taken away from captaincy. Now what is NZ cricket going to do. Will it also replace Mcculum for this loss, then who will be the replacement? What will be the end? Talented Cricketer like Taylor should be encouraged by the management and not to be treated like this. Now who will be the sufferer? Taylor will play in IPL and earn money and fame. Wat about NZ Cricket? Loser is the NZ cricket not Taylor.

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David Hopps David Hopps joined ESPNcricinfo as UK editor early in 2012. For the previous 20 years he was a senior cricket writer for the Guardian and covered England extensively during that time in all Test-playing nations. He also covered four Olympic Games and has written several cricket books, including collections of cricket quotations. He has been an avid amateur cricketer since he was 12, and so knows the pain of repeated failure only too well. The pile of untouched novels he plans to read, but rarely gets around to, is now almost touching the ceiling. He divides his time between the ESPNcricinfo office in Hammersmith and his beloved Yorkshire.
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