New Zealand have moved on to prepare for the second cricket test against South Africa starting tomorrow night, but the Durban debacle rumbles on.

The report of match referee Andy Pycroft has been forwarded to Cricket South Africa, who face a warning or a fine not exceeding US$15,000 ($20,500) over the state of the Kingsmead pitch, on which just four sessions of play were possible before the outfield was deemed unsafe.

Pycroft has officially rated the ground "poor" - hardly a Stop The Press pronouncement - and there may be longer-term ramifications for Durban's cricket officials.

There have been concerns over the SuperSport Park outfield at Centurion ahead of the second test, too. Centurion groundsman Rudolph du Preez has spent double the usual amount of time preparing the pitch, 20 days instead of 10, and expects it will hold up well over the five days but rates it unlikely to provide much help for spinners.


"It might not deteriorate as we are used to. It might be a little bit slower, it might be holding back a bit more," he said.

In that case, it's unlikely to worry New Zealand. They opted for a fourth seamer, Doug Bracewell, at the expense of a second specialist spinner, Ish Sodhi, in the Durban test. Bracewell was tidy in a good New Zealand seam bowling display. Retaining the status quo seems probable, given du Preez's expectations.

New Zealand's bowling coach Shane Jurgensen marked the bowlers' report card with a pass mark.

"We bowled quite well but can do better," he said. "We know we can bowl a bit better, it's exciting for us."

Jurgensen said plenty of thought would go into handling star batsman Hashim Amla, who averages a fine 51.46 in 93 tests. That jumps to 78.5 in 10 against New Zealand.

"Obviously Amla is a very good player and we probably have to slightly adjust our plans to him.

26 Aug, 2016 6:00am
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"'It's little things, make sure we limit the boundaries, but that's the way Amla plays. We've got to go through the process of limiting that damage early."

Amla was severe on three of the seamers, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner and Doug Bracewell, at times in Durban as he made 53 before left armer Trent Boult, the pick of the attack, removed him.

Bracewell said there had been positives for the New Zealand bowlers.

"I was reasonably happy with the way I went. It was good to get 16 overs under the belt. A little bit of learning came out of that, both for us and about South Africa. We know what we're up against."