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Landmark Day for South Africa

January 2nd 2013 17:06
The well documented and frankly ridiculous turmoil within New Zealand cricket has taken a turn for the worse today, as the Black Caps are being battered by a South African side who are on top of their game.

Brendon McCullum is wearing the captain’s armband and he won the toss on the first day, of the first Test at Newlands. Jacques Kallis, when speaking to the home commentary team, said that this is one of the best Newlands pitches he has ever seen, and Kallis is certainly someone who you can take advice off about the pitches at Cape Town seeing as he averages 79.56 there, including 9 centuries. The pitch itself had a few early cracks, and a tinge of green, and with McCullum saying that his team’s strength was the bowling, you would’ve thought he would’ve bowled first. Instead he decided to take first knock, the captain came to the crease with Martin Guptill, the hero of the T20’s after making a match winning century in the second game.

Dale Steyn was handed the ball by captain Graeme Smith, and from the very first delivery he bowled, you knew it was going to be tough for the Kiwi’s. Guptill was the first man to go as he was caught at slip off the bowling of Vernon Philander, who then removed McCullum a few overs later, bowled through the gate. Dean Brownlie was next to go, he was removed 3rd ball by the superb Philander who was moving the ball both ways while consistently pitching it on off stump and making the batsmen play. Kane Williamson, the only man for the tourists to make double figures, was the next man to trudge back to the dressing room, he was plumb LBW to be Philander’s 4th victim. The wicket keeper, BJ Watling was the next man to be removed by Philander, claiming his 5th wicket with a beautiful delivery which was snicked and caught behind by AB De Villiers. With half of the Black Cap wickets down it was Steyn and Morne Morkel on took over the wicket taking baton. Franklin chased a wide on off Morkel and was caught at slip, before Doug Bracewell got an absolute snorter from Steyn and was bowled off stump, by a ball that pitched around middle. It was the perfect way to go to 300 Test wickets, Steyn being only the fourth man to reach this milestone, the others being Makhaya Ntini, Allan Donald and Shaun Pollock. This left the Kiwi’s on 31-7 a hole they were never going to get out of, especially if the luck wasn’t going with them. This was proved right as Jeetan Patel was superbly caught by Hashim Amla off Morkel, who then had Trent Boult caught behind trying to flash the ball over the off side. Steyn got his 301st Test wicket in removing Daniel Flynn caught and bowled, Flynn, who came in at number 5, was at the non strikers end as chaos and carnage occurred at the other end, and he ended up plopping an attempted pull straight up in the air. Philander was the pick of 3 superb bowlers, taking 5-7 from his 6 over's. Steyn took 2-18 while the always impressive Morne Morkel shipped in with 3-14. New Zealand ended their innings 20 minutes before lunch, with just 45 runs on the board, the third lowest total in their history.

Vernon Philander took 5-7 from 6 overs

The Proteas had 10 challenging minutes to face just before lunch, and they were unable to get through to the break unscathed. Graeme Smith was plumb LBW to Doug Bracewell for just a single. New Zealand were however, unable to build on that first wicket as Alviro Petersen and the run machine Hashim Amla built a big partnership, at a very good rate. Amla went at a rollicking rate, putting all the pressure on the Kiwi’s, he made 66 from 74 balls before he was adjudged LBW off James Franklin as he moved across his stumps. Jacques Kallis came to the crease to join Petersen and they carried on plundering runs. Kallis reached one landmark just before another, he scored his 13,000th Test Match run and then 30 runs later he brought up his 57th half century. Kallis was later removed, caught behind, by Trent Boult for a well made 60 from 89 balls. The well rested AB De Villiers was next in and looked comfortable as he escorted Petersen to his 5th Test century, making him the first centurion of 2013. South Africa finished on 252/3 and at the end of day 1 they lead by 207 runs. Not too bad!!!

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