2nd Test, Day 3: NZ v SA commentary

By Tristan Holme (South Africa)   Last updated: 17th March 2012  

SA won by 9 wickets Easy game in the end. New Zealand were out of it after they lost five wickets for no runs on the first day really, and despite Gillespie's heroics yesterday South Africa still attained a lead. Then New Zealand slumped to seven for three and the end drew nearer. Philander brought up his first Test six-for today to finish off New Zealand just after lunch - Williamson's knock deserves a fine mention though - and of course Smith loves run chases. He's finished it before tea on the third day, and everyone has an extra two days off. The third Test begins in Wellington on Friday, so do join us then.

Over 20 Nicol 0-0-0-0-4 103-1 - Rob Nicol's final act in Test cricket? Surely they can't retain him after four horrible innings? His fifth delivery is floated up, and Smith drives through extra cover for four to finish the match.

Over 19 Williamson 6-0-4-1-2-4 99-1 - Smith wants his tea, it would seem. He launches Williamson over long-on for six, then flicks one away fine for four to go to his FIFTY (54 balls, 7x4s, 1x6). An outside edge from Amla runs away from four to take the runs required to just two.

Over 18 Gillespie 0-1-0-0-0-1 82-1 - Just a couple of singles as Gillespie bowls a straighter over. The crowd are thinning out slightly as South Africa close in.

Over 17 Williamson 1-0-0-1-0-4 80-1 - Kane Williamson on for a twirl now, and Smith drives the final delivery - which is flighted right up there - straight down the ground for four. We're meant to go to tea in six minutes, but I fancy South Africa will take the extra half-hour to finish this off. Only 21 more needed.

Over 16 Gillespie 0-0-0-1nb-4-1-0 74-1 - Gillespie back - Taylor using his bowlers in short spells. There's a huge shout for lbw, given not out, and Taylor reviews immediately. But it's a no-ball! So it matters not, although the replay later shows the ball was only shaving leg stump so it would have stayed on-field. The next ball is flicked away fine for four.

Over 15 Arnel 0-4-0-0-0-1 68-1 - There's a good-looking drive from Smith, and it beats mid-off to give him four deserved runs. He thumps a short ball late in the over, but despite a solid pull shot he can't beat the two men back on the leg side.

Over 14 Bracewell 0-2-0-0-0-0 63-1 - Change of tactics from New Zealand, as Taylor takes out all but the one slip and posts three men catching in front of the wicket on the off side. Amla still finds a way to drive through the covers for a couple.

Over 13 Arnel 4-0-0-0-0-4 61-1 - A couple of boundaries for Smith - one good, one 'bad'. The first is a superb punch off the back foot through the covers, the second a lucky inside edge past the keeper as his bottom hand takes charge.

Over 12 Bracewell 0-0-1-0-0-0 53-1 - Bracewell's back after just two disappointing overs from Gillespie, as New Zealand look to tighten up and at least drag this out a bit. A Smith single to square leg is all South Africa manage.

Over 11 Arnel 0-1-0-4-0-0 52-1 - Brent Arnel finally gets his chance. He's been pretty innocuous in this Test, and to be honest I think New Zealand would have done better sticking with Trent Boult. Amla collects another boundary - his eighth already - as he latches onto a short ball to pull through midwicket.

Over 10 Gillespie 1-0-4-1-1-0 47-1 - New Zealand have gone a bit quiet, and seem to awaiting the inevitable. Amla flicks one nonchalantly off his hips, and beats midwicket to earn a boundary. A trio of singles leave just 54 required for victory.

Over 9 Vettori 0-0-0-1-0-0 40-1 - Three men catching on the leg side for Smith - a short leg, a short mid-off and a short midwicket. But he's still happy whipping to that side of the wicket, and he finally threads one through for a single.

Over 8 Gillespie 1-4-0-4-0-0 39-1 - Here's Gillespie then - the one bowler capable of putting doubt in South Africa's minds. He can be threatening because of his pace but can also be expensive, and it turns out to be the latter here - Amla gets a tickle on a delivery to run it away very fine on the leg side, then plays a fine back-foot drive for another boundary.

Over 7 Vettori 1-0-0-0-0-0 30-1 - Daniel Vettori on already, which is fair enough because Martin hasn't really threatened. But Vettori is hardly going to spin New Zealand to victory, so the pacemen might feel a bit aggrieved.

Over 6 Bracewell 0-0-0-1-1-1 29-1 - Smith tucks one through backward square leg for a single, and Amla pushes to mid-on to pinch one to the fielder. Smith dabs a pull to square leg off the final delivery.

Over 5 Martin 0-1-4-4-0-4 26-1 - Amla twice leans forward to stroke a full delivery through the vacant cover region for four. South Africa have come out quite positively, which is not something we've seen the batsmen do often in this match. Taylor puts a cover in, but Amla stands up tall to punch the ball past that man for four more.

Over 4 Bracewell 1-0-1-1-0-0 13-1 - Amla flicks down to fine leg for a single, and Smith punches nice and straight to hand the strike back. Unless something truly eventful happens, we're likely to finish around tea time here. It would be the second time in as many matches that New Zealand have lost at Seddon Park inside three days, having done the same against Pakistan in January 2011.

Over 3 Martin 0-0-0-0-0-0 10-1 - Amla sees out a maiden from Martin, in which he manages to leave a few deliveries alone. New Zealand are a bit flat in the field, and one wonders how much they believe that they can win this.

Over 2 Bracewell W-0-0-4-0-1 10-1 - WICKET! A little surprised not to see Mark Gillespie on first up, but Doug Bracewell immediately justifies Ross Taylor's faith as he gets his first delivery to shape away late from Petersen and take a slight edge through to Kruger van Wyk. Will we see a bit of drama here? Hashim Amla drives sumptuously through cover for four to get off the mark, but then chops one past his stumps.

Over 1 Martin 0-0-1-0-0-4 5-0 - Chris Martin opens from the Members' End, and Alviro petersen grabs a single before Graeme Smith walks across his stumps a bit to flick one off middle stump. The ball races through square leg and away to the boundary.

NZ 168 all out Another lacklustre showing from the New Zealand batsmen, which was always on the cards after they slumped to seven for three. Credit to South Africa's bowlers though, who stayed patient when the ball wasn't doing anything but did make the ball talk a fair amount. The proteas now need 101 runs to take a lead in the series.

Over 68 Philander 0-0-0-0-W 168 all out - WICKET! Philander accepts this excellent opportunity to register his first six-for, as he knocks back Chris Martin's off stump with his fifth delivery. That gives him ten wickets for the match.

Over 67 Morkel 0-0-0-4-0-4 168-9 - Cracking shot from Brent Arnel, who gets forward to drive through extra cover for four! He gets four more from the final delivery, but this one's a lucky slash over the slips. It takes the lead to exactly 100.

Over 66 Philander 0-4-6-0-4-W 160-9 - Entertaining stuff from Gillespie as he smashes three boundaries off Philander, but the bowlers has the last laugh when Gillespie is caught behind. Gillespie was backing away to leg and looking to hammer anything, and the approach brings him a couple of sixes - one over long-on and one over long-off. But Philander stuck to his guns and bowled a full ball at off stump, which is edged straight to Boucher.

Over 65 Morkel 0-0-0-0-W-0 146-8 - WICKET! Morkel has Bracewell given out lbw, but a review shows that he got an inside edge so the decision is overturned. But he only needs three more deliveries to get his man - Bracewell shoulders arms, and the ball jags in brilliantly to knock off stump out the ground. That was comprehensive. South Africa are really getting the ball to talk now.

Over 64 Philander 0-0-W-0-0-0 142-7 - WICKET! The end is nigh, as Williamson edges the third ball after lunch through to Boucher. The ball is moving again, and Philander gets it to move just enough to take a thin edge. This shouldn't take long now.

Lunch Williamson has batted beautifully, but South Africa have chipped away on a pitch that isn't offering a great deal of assistance and will be reasonably happy with the two wickets they've managed. The new ball is 17 overs away if they need it, and New Zealand's lead is just 74 at the moment.

Over 63 Tahir 0-0-0-0-1-0 142-6 - Williamson misses out on the loose delivery, cutting it straight to cover, but then nudges the penultimate ball to long-off for a single. Doug Bracewell keeps out the final ball of the session.

Over 62 Philander 0-0-0-1-0-W 141-6 - Bit of a let-off for Williamson, and Smith is left feeling sheepish because he only had one slip in place for Philander. Williamson edges, and provides what would have been a simple catch for second slip, but is instead a single to Kallis at third man. WICKET! Philander is not to be denied though, even if it's Van Wyk he dismisses. Van Wyk shoulders arms to one that jags back significantly to peg back the off stump - a similar dismissal to Philander's yesterday actually.

Over 61 Tahir 4-0-1-1-0-2 140-5 - Tahir starts with a long-hop, which Van Wyk pulls away fine enough to get four runs. He's had to be patient, but now he's getting a few bad deliveries and he's putting them away. A streaky slice towards third man brings him a couple more.

Over 60 Steyn 0-0-0-0-4-1 132-5 - Steyn's in the groove now - his pace is up, and he hits Van Wyk in the chest with a pretty mean bouncer. He follows it up with a full one that's played a bit awkwardly, but later in the over Van Wyk isn't cowed into avoiding a wide delivery, which he drives away square for four.

Over 59 Tahir 0-2-0-0-0-0 127-5 - Williamson drives nicely down the ground, but Smith does well to run back from mid-on to dive in and prevent the boundary. Fair effort for a big man, which saves two runs.

Over 58 Steyn 0-0-1-0-0-0 125-5 - Boucher has some advice for Steyn after one delivery to Van Wyk, and he rearranges the field, taking out short leg and sending him back for the hook. Steyn bounces the batsman with the next ball, but Van Wyk just ducks underneath it. The next ball, the last of the over, is full and wide but Van Wyk cuts straight to gully.

Over 57 Tahir 1-0-0-0-0-0 124-5 - Williamson pushes out to the sweeper on the off side for a single, and Van Wyk sees out the rest of the over - although he is beaten by a legspinner that turns a bit. Lunch is closing in - it's about 25 minutes away.

Over 56 Steyn 0-0-0-1-4-0 123-5 - Steyn troubles Williamson with a couple of bouncers, which the batsman just gets under, so he switches to bowl around the wicket with a short leg in place. Two balls later he targets the ribs, but Williamson rides it safely to fine leg for one. Steyn comes back over the wicket to Van Wyk and finds the edge, but it drops well short of the two slips and beats them to go for four.

Over 55 Tahir 0-0-1-4-1-0 118-5 - Tahir induces a genuine edge from Van Wyk, but it drops short of Kallis at slip and goes through his legs for a single. Williamson plays the shot of the day next, getting well forward to a legspinner to drive past cover for four. Another single takes the lead to 50.

Over 54 Steyn 0-0-0-1-1-0 112-5 - Steyn returns, but from the opposite end to the one he bowled from earlier, and Williamson rides one to fine leg for a single. Even when he's 'pulling' he keeps that leading elbow up, so that it becomes more of a glance than a pull shot. he looks like he's enjoying the challenge at the moment.

Over 53 Tahir 0-1-0-0-0-1 110-5 - Both batsmen cut out to deep cover for singles. There isn't a great deal of turn on offer for Tahir, and the batsmen are getting forward to smother it when there is.

Over 52 Kallis 0-0-0-0-0-4 108-5 - This is well played by Williamson, ducking under a short one, leaving whatever he doesn't have to plat, then getting forward to open the face and run one down to third man for four.

Over 51 Tahir 3-0-0-0-0-0 104-5 - Tahir bowls on Williamson's pads, and a sumptuous glance through midwicket earns the batsman three runs. Williamson is very technically correct, always keeping that leading elbow nice and high.

Over 50 Kallis 0-0-0-0-0-0 101-5 - A hint of reverse swing for Kallis now, which is making Van Wyk's job difficult as he looks to play himself in. he does well to keep out a probing maiden.

Over 49 Tahir 1-1-0-0-0-0 101-5 - A couple of singles take New Zealand to three figures, but it's going to take a lot of guts for them to take this game into a fourth day. At the current rate, it looks unlikely to go into the third session today.

Over 48 Kallis 0-0-W-0-0-0 99-5 - WICKET! The short ball does the trick for Kallis, as Vettori is caught like a rabbit in the headlights, and the ball takes the glove on its way through to Boucher. Vettori just froze, then used his gloves to defend himself, but presented an easy catch for the wicketkeeper. That brings Kruger van Wyk to the middle for the last recognised partnership. South Africa review a 'not out' decision as Kallis strikes him on the pad with his final delivery, which is pretty dumb because Van Wyk got a good stride in and was clearly struck outside the line of off stump.

Over 47 Tahir 1-0-0-0-0-4 99-4 - Imran Tahir on for the first time today, and Vettori works the first one to long-on for a single. Williamson looks fairly comfortable against the legspinner, but then gets a thick outside edge as he tries to drive off the back foot. He gets four for it though, as the ball runs away to third man.

Over 46 Kallis 0-4-0-0-1-0 94-4 - Just the second boundary of the day as Vettori slaps one to third man for four, but then he gets hit between the shoulder blades by a short ball that doesn't get up as high as he anticipated.

Over 45 Morkel 0-0-0-0-1-0 89-4 - It takes five deliveries to draw a positive stroke out of Vettori, whose eyes light up at a full delivery as he drives through the off side. It just brings a single though because there's a man back on the fence. Time for a drinks break.

Over 44 Kallis 0-0-0-0-0-0 88-4 - Kallis bowling that heavy ball that he's famed for, mostly back of a length which doesn't give Williamson much chance to score. No need for anyone to be in a rush in this match - still plenty of time. New Zealand currently lead by 23 runs.

Over 43 Morkel 0-0-0-0-0-1 88-4 - A bit of movement for Morkel now, and some good pace as well as he gets one to swing into Williamson and rap him on the pad. There's only a strangled appeal though because it was doing too much. A back-foot force from Williamson finally brings up his FIFTY ((130 balls, 7x4s).

Over 42 Kallis 2-0-0-0-0-0 87-4 - Jacques Kallis replaces Philander, and Vettori drives his first ball uppishly through point. The fielder is back on the boundary though, so it was a safe shot that brings him two runs. There rest of the over is fairly unremarkable.

Over 41 Morkel 1-0-0-0-0-0 85-4 - Vettori clips off his legs for a single, but Williamson still can't find that 50th run. Growing crowd on the grass banks are egging him on.

Over 40 Philander 0-0-0-0-0-0 84-4 - Williamson is on 49, but he doesn't get anything with width from Philander and so he blocks out a maiden. Good show of patience from the youngster.

Over 39 Morkel 0-0-1-1-1-0 84-4 - Morne Morkel replaces Steyn, but one delivery aside - which Williamson gets forward to and finds the bounce awkward - the New Zealand batsmen continue to look comfortable. South Africa will know they just need to stay patient though.

Over 38 Philander 0-0-2-0-0-0 81-4 - Just a slip and a gully in place for Vettori, but there's also a man catching at short extra cover. He gets himself in a spot of bother when he tries to use a delivery that isn't full enough to glance, but then he flicks a fuller one through square leg for a couple. This is just the partnership New Zealand were hoping for this morning, and encouragingly, there hasn't been anything for the bowlers.

Over 37 Steyn 0-0-0-0-0-0 79-4 - Williamson is troubled by a short ball, which makes him freeze and get hit on the glove. Sniffing blood, Steyn follows up with two shorter deliveries which take a bit of skill to get out of the way of. Maiden.

Over 36 Philander 0-0-0-1-0-0 79-4 - Williamson is looking really confident at the moment, and he flicks a straight one down to fine leg for a single with the leading elbow kept high. That takes him to 47, but he has to be eyeing a century today - that would be a real breakthrough for him.

Over 35 Steyn 2-0-0-1-0-3 78-4 - Lovely straight drive from Vettori, but Steyn prevents four runs as he gets a boot to it. That wrong-foots Morkel, who was charging to his right at mid-on, but has to circle round to his left. New Zealand take two runs. A quick single puts Willimason on strike, and he glances the final delivery through midwicket for three. Nice shot.

Over 34 Philander 1-0-0-0-0-0 72-4 - Philander's first delivery is on the short side,, and Vettori gives it a meaty bunt off the back foot to wide mid-off for a single. Williamson sees out the remainder without too many worries. South Africa were getting the ball to reverse yesterday evening, but haven't got it to go yet this morning.

Over 33 Steyn 0-0-0-0-2-0 71-4 - Dale Steyn opens from the other end, and seems in no hurry to get warmed up. his first couple of balls are mere looseners, but his pace increases gradually as the over goes on. He beats Kane Williamson with his fourth delivery, but his fifth is too straight and Williamson turns it through midwicket for two.

Over 32 Philander 0-4-0-0-0-0 69-4 - Vernon Philander gets us underway from the City End, but sees his second delivery whipped through midwicket for four by Daniel vettori. That gives New Zealand a lead of one run, so it's cheered enthusiastically by the early bird supporters.

Out come the umpires Followed by the fielding side and then the batsmen.

Glorious day here in Hamilton. Brilliant blue skies, and already there are people in the gates. Should be a significant crowd as fans drive down from Auckland, particularly as anyone who was planning on coming down on Sunday will surely make the trip today. This game looks likely to be over by tea time, but then stranger things have happened.

Greetings Hello and welcome to our over-by-over commentary of day three of the second Test to the three-match series between New Zealand and South Africa at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

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