New Zealand's batsmen crumble on opening day

Thu, Jan 3, 2013, 00:00

CRICKET: New Zealand fell to their third lowest Test score on the opening day of the two-match series against South Africa at Newlands.

Vernon Philander claimed five wickets for seven runs as the tourists, who won the toss and elected to bat, were bowled out for a paltry 45.

The home side replied with 252 for three to lead by 207 runs.

Alviro Petersen hit an unbeaten century and there were also half-centuries for Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis, who became the fourth player to pass 13,000 Tests runs.

Philander ripped through the New Zealand order as South Africa began the series in the manner befitting the world’s number one ranked side. Only Kane Williamson reached double figures, but his top score of 13 was typical of a New Zealand batting display which crumbled in 19.2 overs. Philander struck in the second over as he claimed a wicket maiden, Martin Guptill’s outside edge being snapped up by AB de Villiers behind the stumps.

The home crowd only had to wait four more overs before Philander struck for a second time, cleaning up Brendon McCullum (7) with a length ball which removed middle stump.

Three balls later Dean Brownlie (0) looped a catch to Graeme Smith at slip and the tourists were in trouble at 14 for three. Dale Steyn’s following over cost nine runs as Williamson showed a little resistance.

But Philander returned to remove him lbw for 13 as New Zealand finished the eighth over on 27 for four.

In on the act

Philander and De Villiers combined to remove BJ Watling for a duck before Morne Morkel got in on the act to dismiss James Franklin, caught by Smith for one, to reduce the tourists to 28 for six.

When Doug Bracewell was bowled by Steyn for two, New Zealand were 31 for seven and looking at an embarrassing first innings total. Jeetan Patel (5) was the next to go after Amla dived to his left to claim a stunning one-handed catch off the bowling of Morkel.

Travis Boult had contributed one to the total when he was caught by De Villiers off Morkel and Steyn ended the rout when he caught and bowled Daniel Flynn for eight.

Philander was the star of the show with seven for five, including three maidens from his six overs, but Morkel’s three for 14 and Steyn’s two for 18 were also impressive figures. There was extra significance as Steyn passed 300 Test wickets.

In the two remaining overs before lunch South Africa lost captain Smith when he was trapped lbw by Bracewell to leave the home side’s reply on three for one.

But Amla and Petersen put on a century before the second wicket fell as the tourists were made to work hard in the field.

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