New Zealand will go to Wanderers for the 3rd Test match against South Africa and the Black Caps are still trailing in this series 0-1. Well that has been the plight of the New Zealanders, who were forced to draw this Test Match despite knocking 593 runs on the board. Their Skipper Stephen Fleming scored a tall one making 262 runs but the reply from South Africa was adequate to force a draw. Hashim Amla, who is relatively young in the international circuit led South Africa with a solid 149 and South Africa’s job of saving this Test Match was also well supported by Ashwell Prince and Jacques Kallis.
Ashwell Prince got to his 4th century in Test Match Cricket this morning and it was a different morning for the bowlers today taking up 4 wickets in the 1st session. James Franklin got the ball to move, both the old ball and the 3rd new ball with which he picked up 3 out of those 4 wickets. With the old ball he had got Boucher out in the slips as the South African Wicket Keeper got a bottom edge to a short one that was seaming away. Franklin in the very next ball wrapped up Nicky Boje in front of the stumps but then missed out on a hat-trick. Daniel Vettori then got the ball to drift and turn to get Dale Steyn stumped out and Franklin then ended the first session by getting his full inswinger to strike Andre Nel lbw. After lunch, Makhaya Ntini was run out as Ashwell Prince at the non striker realizing that it was the last ball of the over from Vettori, decided to park his vehicle and relax. Poor Ntini who had pushed that delivery from Vettori to the right of mid on, thought it was an easy single and took off only to meet Mr.Prince at the non striker’s end and with that the South African innings closed at 512, falling 81 runs short of the NZ first innings total.
In the New Zealand 2nd innings, the new ball was seaming around for Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini and the two sent the Kiwi openers back in the hut to prove their domination. Steyn was superb in getting the ball to angle in and then straighten once it hit the seam to the right handers, he had got a few edges off Papps’ blade which ran away through the slip cordon. Kallis, who was brought in to bowl along with Andre Nel struck by bowling a well shaped outswinger that pitched on the middle and moved away. Nathan Astle was looking to work that delivery off the backfoot to the legside and got a big inside edge which went up in the air and then into the hands of Smith at covers. After this wicket, the bowlers found no joy with the ball becoming old and the lateral movement minimized. Nicky Boje did get the ball to turn but since he doesn’t have a good arm ball, the batsmen didn’t find it tough to play him. Scott Styris grabbed the opportunity to score a meaty half century which was a power packed one with 9 thumping boundaries. Jacob Oram was the man who was giving him company and the left hander played a patient innings – most of the time leaving deliveries outside the offstump. Once again bad light came in play and the players had to walk off once Ntini was reintroduced into the bowling attack. Stumps on Day 5 was soon called and that was it, the match ended up in a tame draw. The Man of the Match award went to the New Zealand Skipper for his big double century.
The two teams now clash for the 3rd and the last time in this series at The Wanderers. South Africa still look the favourites because of their impressive pace attack led by Makhaya Ntini and Dale Steyn and add to the fact that their most experienced bowler Shaun Pollock might be coming back after injury.