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Two century stands delight South Africa

Two century partnerships put South Africa in a good position on 237 for three at the close of the second day's play in the third Test.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2004 14:51 IST

A century partnership of Jacques Rudolph and Martin van Jaarsveld steered South Africa to a strong position at 237 for three at stumps on day two of the third cricket Test against New Zealand on Saturday.

Rudolph was unbeaten on 60 and van Jaarsveld was on 48 as their unbroken stand took South Africa within 60 runs of New Zealand's first innings total of 297.

Apart from a minor collapse just before tea, when South Africa slumped from 103 without loss to 136 for three, the tourists dominated the day, cashing in on indifferent bowling and fielding lapses.

They polished off the New Zealand innings early, taking the last four wickets for 49 runs within an hour.

Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs opened the reply with a century stand, their seventh, before Smith dragged a wide attempted yorker from Chris Cairns onto his stumps and was out for 47.

Gibbs marched on to 77 before falling to Chris Martin, the destroyer of South Africa in the second Test, and three balls later Martin had Gary Kirsten in his 101st and final Test out for one.

New Zealand were left to ponder what might have been as three catches went to ground and a caught behind appeal was turned down.

Gibbs benefitted twice, given the benefit of the doubt when television replays showed a clear thick edge went through to wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum, but umpire Asoka de Silva said no, and later he was dropped at deep mid-on by Stephen Fleming.

Rudolph and van Jaarsveld also survived dropped catches in consecutive overs from Daniel Vettori.
With a strong northerly wind making it difficult for the bowlers to maintain their rhythm, they were chances New Zealand could ill-afford to miss.

Martin, who had none for 17 off four overs in his first spell, finished the day with two for 34 off 13 overs while Cairns had one for 44 off 11.

Left-arm spinner Nicky Boje ended New Zealand's innings when he had Jacob Oram stumped for 34 to finish with four for 65 off 20 overs, while Shaun Pollock dismissed dangerman Cairns for 69 and took Vettori two balls later to end with figures of three for 85 off 29.

Oram and No 11 Chris Martin produced an entertaining last-wicket stand of 33 in which Oram blazed away with three fours and two sixes in his 34 off 38 balls.

Martin ended his world record run of nine consecutive scores of nought or nought not out, and was one not out off eight balls.

Cairns, resuming the day on 60, smashed Andre Nel over deep backward square leg for six and was warming up for the same off Pollock when he was bowled by a ball he left alone which seamed back.

His 69 was scored off 81 balls and included 10 fours and two sixes.

New Zealand lead the series 1-0 and a draw will be enough for them to clinch their first series win over South Africa.

First Published: Mar 27, 2004 10:01 IST