South Africa's Vernon Philander celebrates as he takes the
wicket of New Zealand's BJ Watling during the first day of
their first test in Cape Town. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings
New Zealand's horror opening day of the test series
against South Africa ranks among the worst in modern times.
Not only were they rolled for their third worst total, 45,
after winning the toss, but by stumps at Newlands, the hosts
were 207 ahead, having reached 252 for three by stumps.
Opener Alviro Petersen was on 103 and AB de Villiers 19.
Only Kane Williamson managed even double figures as New
Zealand capitulated meekly in 19.2 overs, or 100 minutes. It
was the lowest test score since India's 42 at Lord's in 1974.
New Zealand captain, Brendon McCullum, made a bad misjudgment
of his team's batting talents at the toss.
He wanted to get on the front foot in the game and it went
The South African bowling was formidably good, but it was
helped by lame batting.
Fast-medium Vernon Philander maintained both his fine record
against New Zealand, and his terrific overall record, taking
five for seven in his opening six-over spell.
Morne Morkel's three for 14 and Dale Steyn's two for 18
rounded things off nicely as they ensured South Africa's
opening batsmen would head out to the middle before lunch.
The consistently accurate Philander has now taken 72 wickets
at just 16 runs apiece halfway through his 13th test.
Against New Zealand, he's taken 26 wickets at a stunning 12.7
When Steyn removed one of Doug Bracewell's stumps, he had 300
test wickets, the fourth South African bowler to that
milestone, after Shaun Pollock (421 wickets), Makhaya Ntini
(390) and Allan Donald (330).
In the afternoon it was champion allrounder Jacques Kallis'
time to click over another significant number.
When he sliced Bracewell wide of gully to reach 23, he had
surpassed 13,000 test runs, joining Indians Sachin Tendulkar
and Rahul Dravid, and recently-retired Australian Ricky
Ponting in that elite group.
New Zealand's only bowling successes were removing Graeme
Smith in the second over, then Hashim Amla and Kallis, both
in the 60s, after consecutive stands of 107 and 104 with the
steady Petersen, who completed his fifth test century, off
170 balls with 11 fours and a six, near the end of a sunlit
New Zealand's batting misery was compounded by a poor
fielding performance and a bowling effort which was unable to
make much mileage as whatever demons lurked in the pitch
earlier in the day went to sleep.
Five batsmen were caught either by wicketkeeper de Villiers
or Graeme Smith at first slip as they failed to cover the
ball on or outside their off stump.
The innings lasted only 100 minutes and contained just five
fours. At times it was kids against men, and New Zealand were
completely outclassed on the day, which amply demonstrated
the gulf between world No 1 and No 8.
South African captain Smith had made it clear the day before
the match that his team had determined to start the test,
their first in a month and first at home in almost a year, in
strong, assertive fashion.
His team responded just as he'd requested, leaving a
devastated New Zealand to try and regain some face in the
remainder of the match.
South African officials' worst fears about the disparity
between the teams, and likely financial loss out of
potentially at least one day not required, were realised