South African in sight of victory as Vernon Philander strikes – Third Test vs. New Zealand

South Africa 474- 9 declared and 75-0 (Alviro Petersen 38* and Graeme Smith 34*) lead New Zealand 275 all out (Martin Guptill 59, Daniel Flynn 45, Vernon Philander 6-81) by 274 runs.

Vernon Philander - destroyed New Zealand batting by grabbing 6-81
Vernon Philander – destroyed New Zealand batting by grabbing 6-81

South Africa dominated against New Zealand with a superb spell by Vernon Philander who grabbed six wickets and the visitors are anticipating winning the match.

The Proteas declared their first innings at 474 for the loss of nine wickets and the Kiwis were bowled out for 275. The visitors posted 75 runs in their second innings and enhanced their lead to 274 with all their second innings wickets in hand.

The encounter has entered into an interesting stage at the close of the fourth day’s play at Basin Reserve, Wellington on March 26, 2012.

Earlier, the Black Caps started their first innings at the overnight score of 65 runs without any loss in 25 overs, Daniel Flynn was unbeaten on 35 and Martin Guptill was at the crease for 25 runs. The latter got an early life when he was dropped on the second ball of the day by Jean-Paul-Duminy off Dale Steyn without adding any run in his overnight score.

The batsmen found it hard to score the runs freely and crawled to 86 runs when Flynn was caught behind by Mark Boucher off Philander for 45 scored from 117 balls with one six and six fours. Brendon McCullum came in next and kept on consolidating with Guptill who was going well with the clock and completed his fifty on the second ball of the 42nd over.

McCullum was dropped by Duminy at point for 29 runs and Steyn was once again the suffering bowler. McCullum was finally caught by the wicketkeeper and Steyn succeeded in sending him back to the pavilion for 31 runs after the addition of 50 runs for the second wicket. Guptill became the next victim for 59 as the score reached at 145 runs when Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson tried to stabilise the innings.

The Kiwis suffered a blow when Taylor was struck by a sharp delivery from Morne Morkal just above his wrist on the left arm and he was unable to continue his batting because of instant swelling and got retired hurt for 18 runs. Williamson kept on striking with occasional boundaries as nominal assistance was witnessed from the other end and he was the fifth batsman who went back to the pavilion for 39 runs.

The fifth wicket fell at 242 runs as Daniel Vettori tried to enhance the innings but the wickets were at the slide from the other end. He was caught by Jacques Rudolph at Gully off Philander for 30and their entire innings was folded back for 275 runs in 96 overs.

Vernon Philander broke the back of their batting by grabbing six wickets, Dale Steyn held two and Marchant de Lange claimed one wicket.

South Africa gained a substantial lead of 199 runs in the first innings as New Zealand escaped the follow on by just one run. Alviro Petersen and Captain, Graeme Smith opened the second innings in style as the first dispatched two fours in the very first over. The duo survived a couple of confident leg before wicket appeals and posted first fifty of the innings in the 12th over.

The home side bowlers found it hard to dislodge the partnership as the visitors scored brisk 75 runs in 15 overs at stumps on the day four. Petersen was unbeaten for 38 off 42 balls with one six and four fours as Graeme Smith was at the crease at 34 scored from 49 balls with three fours.

South Africa was at the driving seat with an overall lead of 274 and will try to add some quick runs on the fifth day before declaration and look forward for the victory in the match by their hostile bowling.


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