Cricket: Black Caps limp to a five-run lead

By Adrian Seconi of the Otago Daily Times

Brendon McCullum bats during day two of the opening test. Photo / Getty Images
Brendon McCullum bats during day two of the opening test. Photo / Getty Images

South African seamer Vernon Philander enhanced his growing reputation with another big bag of wickets in action on the second day of the test against New Zealand in Dunedin.

The right-armer arrived in the country with an impressive record. In four tests had claimed 30 wickets at a scarcely believable average of 13.23, including four five-wicket bags and 10 wickets in a match on one occasion.

He bowled superbly again today to take four for 50 to leave New Zealand 243 for nine, a lead of just five runs.

Earlier, the Proteas resumed with their hopes pinned on Jacques Rudolph (46) and Philander (4) carrying them through to a better position.

South Africa rattled on a run a minute to improve its overnight score to 238 but the wickets also tumbled quickly.

Experienced seamer Chris Martin got the breakthrough when Philander slashed a catch to gully.

Jacques Rudolph added six before he perished after flashing a drive to Trent Boult,

Morne Morkel helped the cause with a couple of drives down the ground before Imran Tahir was the last man dismissed, run out for 10.

New Zealand's reply got off to a poor start with Rob Nicol netting just six runs in his maiden test innings, and Martin Guptill played on in the first over after lunch.

Brendon McCullum and Ross Taylor, who was celebrating his 28th birthday, batted quite nicely. Taylor (44) stroked some memorable drives and McCullum (48) was starting to warm to his work with a couple of lovely shots down the ground.

It was a rush of blood which brought about McCullum's demise. He tried to sweep Tahir against the spin and got a top edge.

You did not need to read lips to work out what McCullum said next.

Taylor was just as disappointed with the shot which caused his downfall.

He hit two glorious drives then edged a cut shot he was in no position to play.

Daniel Vettori slapped and swatted his way to 46 from 78 deliveries before bailing out of a pull shot and spooning a catch to back to the bowler Jacques Kallis, and Kruger van Wyk made a useful debut with 36.

- NZ Herald

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