New Zealand 45 and 275 (Brownlie 109, McCullum 51, Watling 42, Steyn 3/67, Kallis 2/31 Peterson, Philander 2/76) South Africa 347/8 declared (Petersen 106, De Villiers 67, Amla 66, Kallis 63, Boult 3/78, Martin 3/63)
South Africa won by an innings and 27 runs
South Africa wrapped a comprehensive win which was a case of when, not if, after a powerful first day performance that left New Zealand with no way back into the match.
New Zealand’s second innings resistance was far stouter but they had left themselves too much to do.
When Dean Brownlie fell to the upper-cut trap just before lunch, the last wall standing in the way of the Proteas had more or less collapsed, but credit to the tourists renewed fighting spirit that they were able to take the game into the afternoon session of the third day.
They showed more composure and the ability to stick it out. It will serve them well ahead of the second Test, which starts next Friday in Port Elizabeth.
The key wicket after lunch was that of BJ Watling, who continued his grafting. With James Franklin being a capable batsman, he was not required to do anything out of the ordinary but his inability to kick on meant the South African did not have to stray from their strict lines.
It was man-of-the-match Vernon Philander who prised him out with a stock line and lengther outside offstump, which he pushed to Graeme Smith at first slip.
Doug Bracewell followed suit very quickly when he fended Philander to Alviro Petersen at third slip. Philander later left the field with a suspected tight hamstring.
The last rites were not swift with the tail taking on Dale Steyn’s short ball, even though Jeetan Patel lost some common sense in ducking into one.
It was a tactic of aggression meant to scare them into submission, but that was far from happening and Patel’s dismissal was a case of misplaced impetuosity as he back away to hack Steyn through the off-side.
The end result was his leg stump sent cartwheeling.
The short ball assault did not relent with the key batsman being James Franklin. The lefthander chose discretion over valour, testing his reflexes with bobbing and weaving like a lightweight boxer dancing around a heavyweight.
The one time he attempted a shot, it took a route through his body and clipped the top of his stumps.
Chris Martin, most probably playing in his last Test, was run out without facing a ball, his 36th duck in Test cricket. It summed up the state of New Zealand’s cricket – rudderless.