Martin makes his mark
Chris Martin starred as New Zealand enjoyed a fine opening day in the first Test against South Africa at Dunedin.
The tourists headed into the encounter knowing they need to secure a 3-0 series whitewash to move top of the ICC Reliance Mobile Test rankings in time to scoop the US$175,000 prize on April 1.
But they endured a miserable start as Martin’s 3-34 reduced them to 191 for seven on a rain-reduced first day at the University Oval.
After the first session was wiped out by adverse weather, New Zealand captain Ross Taylor won the toss and elected to field.
That decision proved inspired as Trent Boult grabbed the early wicket of Alviro Petersen.
With South Africa having made a solid start in reaching 34 without loss, Boult trapped the opening batsman in front and, despite umpire Aleem Dar originally delivering a not-out verdict, he was given out on review.
The tourists responded impressively as Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla showed positive intent, epitomised by the latter hitting Daniel Vettori down the ground for six.
Skipper Smith moved past his half-century by clipping Tim Southee through midwicket for four as South Africa reached 86 for one at tea.
The hosts came out fighting after the interval, though, with Martin claiming three wickets in four balls.
Having caused Smith all sorts of problems with the first four deliveries of the evening session, Martin lured the left-hander into an aerial drive, Rob Nicol taking the catch at extra cover.
Amla struck Southee to the boundary in the next over, but Martin returned to decimate the South Africa middle order; he had Jacques Kallis caught at slip with a beauty that nipped away and reared off the seam before trapping AB de Villiers, who unsuccessfully reviewed, plumb in front.
Jacques Rudolph and Amla responded impressively, as the latter moved to 50 with a typically well-timed drive through cover.
However, he fell for 62 soon after, caught at slip by Taylor having nicked an attempted cut off Vettori.
The hosts did not help themselves thereafter as Mark Boucher was run out for four by Doug Bracewell, who finished off a fine day for the hosts by having Dale Steyn caught at slip, where Taylor took the rebound after Martin Guptill shelled the original chance.
Rudolph remained, though, and was unbeaten on 46 to give South Africa hope of reaching a respectable first-innings total.