Proteas prosper in soggy Wellington
South Africa gained the upper hand over New Zealand on a truncated opening day of the third and final Test in Wellington.
Following a lengthy delay due to a wet outfield at the Basin Reserve, the Proteas - who hold a 1-0 lead in the series - made steady progress to 136 for two from 42 overs, having been put in on a green pitch providing assistance to New Zealand’s seamers.
Hashim Amla contributed a fluent 63, while Alviro Petersen and JP Duminy, recalled in place of the injured Jacques Kallis, reached stumps unbeaten on 44 and 23 respectively.
There was initial success for the Black Caps this morning when South Africa captain Graeme Smith departed in somewhat controversial fashion for five.
The left-hander called for a review after being given out caught behind off Doug Bracewell, but, although replays appeared to suggest he had not made contact with the ball, umpire Aleem Dar’s initial decision was upheld.
Petersen and Amla responded well to the early setback, sharing 93 in a partnership dominated by the latter.
Amla was typically strong through the off side, but, after being struck on the groin, struggled for mobility as his innings progressed and departed when an uncharacteristically flat-footed drive saw him edge through to wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk off Mark Gillespie.
Petersen remained, having adopted a generally cautious approach either side of lofting Daniel Vettori over long-on for six during the afternoon session.
Duminy, meanwhile, was able to score freely as New Zealand looked to attack in the closing overs of the day following Amla’s departure.