26 March 2012

Basin Reserve, 3rd Test, Day 4

New Zealand resumed on Day 4 with both openers at the crease and the score at 65/0. Daniel Flynn and Martin Guptill played gritty test innings, each facing over 100 balls. Inevitably it was Vernon Philander who broke the partnership, dismissing Flynn for a tidy 45 - New Zealand batsmen seem incapable of defending against the new South African bowler's guile and accuracy. Brendon McCullum played one of his usual 'sod it, I'll do what I bloody well like' one-day innings, peppering 31 runs off 56 balls when a solid defence and a long stay at the crease was required. Ross Taylor had the worst luck, when the wicketless Morne Morkel managed to send the New Zealand captain to hospital with a suspected fractured arm. And just when the follow-on was looking like an easy target, New Zealand lost three wickets with the score on 263 - which was still 11 short of making the visitors bat again. At least Mark Gillespie's lusty boundary swings spared those blushes, with New Zealand scraping through to 275, a full 199 runs behind on the first innings.

Then South Africa emerged to show how it's done, rattling up 75/0 in only 15 overs, including a cracking Petersen six to long off from the bowling of Gillespie. At this rate, and with the weather forecast looking ominously fine, it would be a daring gambler indeed who would put any money on New Zealand holding out for a draw tomorrow.

Dean Brownlie

McCullum & Vettori offer Gillespie advice on how on earth he might get a South African out

Gillespie prepares to bowl...

...and is smashed for six to long off by Petersen

Hooray, Kruger van Wyk!

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