Proteas break through Black Caps top order

2012-03-26 07:27

New Zealand’s battle for survival in the final cricket Test against South Africa has suffered a blow with captain Ross Taylor taken to hospital with a suspected broken wrist.

At tea on the fourth day New Zealand were 231-4 in reply to South Africa’s 474-9 declared, needing a further 43 to avoid the follow-on and with doubt Taylor would be able to bat again.

The senior New Zealand batsman, who was hit on the hand by the first ball he faced from Dale Steyn, had reached 18 when he was struck on the left wrist by an express delivery from Morne Morkel soon after the lunch break.

He attempted to play on but lasted one ball, which he nudged for a single, before walking off and being taken to hospital to be X-rayed.

New Zealand were on 160-3 and battling to reach 275 to make South Africa bat again when Dean Brownlie joined Kane Williamson and cautiously advanced in a 59-run stand.

But with diligence called for as they approached the tea break, Brownlie top-edged an attempted pull shot off Vernon Philander on the third delivery with the new ball and was caught at fine leg by Steyn for 29.

Williamson, who came in immediately after lunch as Martin Guptill (59) had been dismissed in the last over before the break, was on 39 at the tea break with Daniel Vettori on six.

New Zealand resumed the day at 65-0 and assisted by some poor fielding reached 86 before the South African quicks, in a hostile bowling attack from Steyn and Morkel started to make in-roads.

Daniel Flynn, in the unfamiliar role of opener and playing his first Test in two years, was first to fall on 45, nicking Philander’s fourth ball of the day through to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher.

Brendon McCullum had two lives on his way to 31. He was caught behind off Marchant de Lange, which the umpire ruled not out although replays showed he was gone, and he was also dropped at point by JP Duminy off Steyn.

Duminy had earlier done wrong by Steyn when he spilled two edges from Guptill when fielding in the gully.

Philander, who has been the most successful South African wicket-taker in the series, again headed the bowling figures with three for 62.

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