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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 November 2007, 16:02 GMT
SA fight back after batsmen slump
First Test, Johannesburg (day one, stumps): South Africa 226 v New Zealand 41-2

Shane Bond
Shane Bond, sporting a new beard, produced some killer blows

Bowlers dominated the opening day of the first Test in Johannesburg, with New Zealand bowling South Africa out for 226 then losing two early wickets.

Shane Bond took 4-73 as the home side were knocked out an hour before stumps at an overcast Wanderers.

Herschelle Gibbs made an unusually patient 63 before AB de Villiers (33) and Mark Boucher (43) chipped in.

But Michael Papps and Craig Cumming both fell early, leaving New Zealand 41-2, with Stephen Fleming on 22.

Fleming, relieved of the Test captaincy for the first time since February 1997, had time to pull Andre Nel for six, and hit two early fours off Makhaya Ntini.

A good bowling performance could get us back in the match

Mickey Arthur
South Africa coach

But Ntini had already enjoyed success, having Papps taken low at third slip in the sixth over of New Zealand's reply.

Dale Steyn brought Bond to the crease as night-watchman when he had Cumming lbw for 12.

Passed over as skipper for this series in favour of Daniel Vettori after he retired from one-day cricket, Fleming had dislocated a thumb and missed a warm-up match but showed no early signs of discomfort.

South Africa named the same XI which played in the final Test against Pakistan, with left-arm spin bowler Paul Harris keeping out veteran all-rounder Shaun Pollock.

With swing and seam on offer, the Black Caps had a good start to leave South Africa on 20-2 after the early exchanges, and perhaps regretting their choice to bat first.

Chris Martin made the initial breakthrough in the second of the day.

Proteas skipper Graeme Smith decided at the last moment not to attempt a shot outside the off-stump, but was unable to withdraw his bat in time and the deflection crashed into the stumps.

Hashim Amla never settled, and a fast, short ball from Bond just outside off stump was good enough to end his innings on 12 - Brendon McCullum taking a thin outside edge.

Gibbs and Jacques Kallis put on 53, with Kallis dropped twice before edging Iain O'Brien behind for 29.

606: DEBATE
mikesiva

Fleming took a gentle slip catch off Bond to see off Ashwell Prince and Gibbs finally departed - edging Martin to Fleming - having added 49 with AB de Villiers.

It was left to Bouchers and De Villiers to try to rescue a precarious tea score of 161-5, but things only got even worse for the hosts.

De Villiers speared Bond to Jacob Oram at gully - the decision was referred to the third umpire with the catch taken close to the ground - and that left the door open to the tail.

Afterwards, Bond refused to second-guess South Africa's decision to bat first, saying: "We didn't know what to expect from the pitch.

"We were going to bat. It was a good toss to lose."

South Africa coach Mickey Arthur said: "We had to gamble. It was a pitch on which the batsmen didn't really feel in, but a good bowling performance could get us back in the match."

SEE ALSO
Pollock recalled by South Africa
02 Nov 07 |  South Africa
Vettori named as NZ Test captain
12 Sep 07 |  New Zealand
New Zealand in South Africa 2007
20 Jun 07 |  Cricket


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