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New Zealand cruise to victory over SA

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming hit a whirlwind 31 to ease the home side to a nine-wicket victory on the final day of the second Test against South Africa.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2004 15:02 IST
Geoff Young (Reuters)
Geoff Young (Reuters)

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming hit a whirlwind 31 to ease the home side to a nine-wicket victory on the final afternoon of the second test against South Africa on Monday.

Set a victory target of just 51 runs after dismissing South Africa for 349, Fleming came to the crease when Mark Richardson was caught by Nicky Boje for ten after misjudging a Makhaya Ntini bouncer and wasted little time polishing off the total.

He hit 17 runs off Ntini's next over and his 31 contained six fours and a six to pick up his 20th win in 57 matches as captain, but first since New Zealand beat India in Hamilton in December 2002.

The hosts lead the three-match series 1-0 after a drawn opening test in Hamilton and the sides conclude the series in the final match starting on Friday in Wellington.

The victory was New Zealand's first against South Africa on home soil and just their fourth in 29 encounters, although Fleming was quick to put it into perspective.

"Each time we do something special, it has the same characteristic," he said. "Certainly England (a 2-1 series win in 1999) was great but the nature of this beast is that we haven't done it before at home against South Africa.

"That's a testament to the quality of the team we're playing and how good they've been for some time. So to knock them over at home for the first time is great."

Earlier, all-rounder Chris Cairns claimed his 200th test wicket to help dismiss the Proteas in the first session of the final day.

Recalled fast-medium bowler Chris Martin also played a key role, removing Shaun Pollock to register his second five-wicket haul of the match.

Despite a heroic knock of 154 not out by Jacques Rudolph, New Zealand always looked in control of the outcome once they had compiled a daunting 595 first innings total.

After scoring his 3,000th test run on his way to a brutal 158 on Saturday, Cairns picked up his landmark wicket when Boje edged to Brendon McCullum behind the stumps.

Cairns added two more to his tally with Ntini's wicket two overs later and David Terbrugge's to close the innings.


In passing the milestone, Cairns became the sixth all-rounder to take 200 wickets and score 3,000 test runs.

Trailing by 299 after the first innings, South Africa resumed on 277 for six and quickly lost Pollock when he edged a rampant Martin to Fleming at first slip for 10.

Pollock's wicket was Martin's 11th of the match after his six for 76 in the first innings.

His 11-180 figures are a new record for his country against South Africa and earned him the man of the match award.

He was named man of the match but had some stiff opposition in the form of Scott Styris, who scored 170, and Cairns.

"I think they've both had them before. I've never been close to a man of the match, so I'll take it and enjoy it," he said.

Boje survived a stern test from Martin before hitting some solid shots to take South Africa past New Zealand's first innings total.

He reached 24 before Cairns struck, while at the other end overnight batsman Rudolph continued to concentrate on staying at the crease for as long as possible.

Ntini and Terbrugge were unable to remain with Rudolph and he ran out of partners after surviving for 436 minutes and 312 deliveries.

He blasted 26 fours and one six but lacked sufficient support from the tail to steer South Africa to safety.

"This was probably the biggest beating we've had since I've been in charge and we deserved the beating after the way we performed in most facets of the game," South African skipper Graeme Smith said.

"We had two batting collapses after being in good positions. The first one really put us under pressure and then we didn't bowl well enough."

First Published: Mar 22, 2004 14:02 IST