Another bad day for Black Caps

New Zealand endured another bad day on the second day of the second Castle Lager Test against South Africa at Supersport Park on Saturday as Jacques Kallis notched up his fifth century in four Tests. When play was called off for bad light, South Africa were 272 for three, giving them a first innings lead of 89, with seven wickets in hand.

Makhaya Ntini mopped up the New Zealand tail off the fourth ball of the morning when Chris Martin was caught at second slip by Jacques Kallis without scoring. New Zealand added one run to their overnight total and were all out for 188.

To add to their woes, opener Craig Cumming was ruled out of the rest of the match. He underwent surgery on Friday night after a short ball from Dale Steyn hit him on the helmet on Friday. Cumming suffered a gash that needed two stitches, as well as multiple cracks along the cheekbone. Cumming, a diabetic, spent Friday night in intensive care, but is expected to be discharged from hospital on Sunday or Monday. He will fly home as soon as he is fit enough.

The Black Caps must have thought their luck had changed when Martin snatched two early wickets, with Graeme Smith bowled off the last ball of the first over for two, and Herschelle Gibbs bowled for 25 in the ninth over.

But his departure brought together Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis, who shared a record third wicket partnership of 330 in the first Test at the Wanderers.

The two steered South Africa to 103 for two at lunch, but Kallis really let loose after lunch, and the two put on 148 runs between lunch and tea. He also registered his 1 000th run of the calendar year.

Kallis moved to his 46th Test 50, becoming the first South African to score 50s in eight consecutive Tests. Not content with that, he took the bit between his teeth and reached his 29th Test century — the second 50 coming off 49 balls. He is now level with Donald Bradman, who scored 29 Test centuries in his career

”I’m feeling very good at the moment, and what is very pleasing is not just getting hundreds, but the way I’ve been getting them,” said Kallis. ”I’m getting them at a good rate, and probably playing more positively than I have in the past. I’ve come in for a lot of criticism for not stepping up a gear, and hopefully I’ve silenced those critics for a while.”

Kallis was in sublime form and showed no mercy for any of the New Zealand bowlers.

”They went on the attack after lunch, and when a bowler attacks you, there are a lot of scoring options,” he said. ”Hashim and I were able to capitalise on a couple of loose balls and bad balls, and put the pressure back on New Zealand.”

Amla went to his sixth Test 50 off 105 balls. Although content to let Kallis be the dominant partner, he was also in top form.

The Kiwis got the breakthrough they so desperately needed in the first over tea, when Mark Gillespie trapped Kallis leg before wicket for 131. He and Amla had shared a third wicket partnership of 220.

Amla was joined by Ashwell Prince and they took the score to 272 when play was suspended for bad light. Amla was not out on 89 and Prince on eight.

Kallis said the pitch was not easy to play on, and he believed it would get more difficult as the match went on.

”There’s still a lot of uneven bounce, which seems to be the order of the day at the moment, so it’s hard work. If we can get a nice lead of 200 or more, we can put pressure on New Zealand because I think day four and five it’s going to get really uneven.” – Sapa

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