Smith, Kallis lead SA fightback

2012-03-09 07:23

South Africa were locked in a tense struggle to build a lead over New Zealand, reaching lunch on the third day of the first Test at 88-2.

The visitors held a 53-run lead with eight wickets in hand after the New Zealand first innings folded quickly in the morning session, but not before some power hitting from Trent Boult.

Three sixes and a four in one Vernon Philander over lifted Boult to an unbeaten 33 before the last wicket fell with New Zealand on 273, giving the home side a 35-run lead on first innings.

Doug Bracewell then struck twice to leave South Africa struggling at 47-2 before captain Graeme Smith (37 not out) and Jacques Kallis (24 not out) set about repairing the damage.

Bracewell’s first wicket was a soft dismissal of opener Alviro Peterson, who lofted the ball straight to Tim Southee at mid-off to be out for 25.

Four balls later, Hashim Amla (two) was on his way back to the pavilion, brilliantly caught by a diving Martin Guptill, who managed to get his hand under the ball just above the grass.

New Zealand resumed on the third day with a five-run lead. Lusty hitting from Boult saw 34 runs put on for the last wicket with Chris Martin, who was the final wicket to fall, caught by Amla off Dale Steyn for five.

Philander was the pick of the South African bowlers with four for 72 off 18 overs.

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