More misery for brittle Black Caps
New Zealand’s fragile top order was blown apart once again as South Africa moved clinically towards another emphatic triumph on day two of the second Test at Port Elizabeth.
Dismissed for just 45 en route to an innings defeat in last week’s series-opener at Cape Town, the Black Caps today slumped to 47 for six after South Africa had declared their first innings on 525 for eight.
The hosts’ imposing total was built upon centuries from Hashim Amla, who added just four to his overnight 106 this morning, Francois du Plessis, the top scorer with 137, and Dean Elgar.
When Elgar moved to three figures for the first time in international cricket, Graeme Smith called a halt to his side’s innings and then watched his bowlers wreak havoc, with Dale Steyn, Rory Kleinveldt and Robin Peterson snaring two victims apiece.
It was Steyn who did the initial damage by having Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson caught in the slips during a fiery opening spell. Guptill had previously been dropped in the cordon by Jacques Kallis.
Things got no easier for New Zealand when Kleinveldt replaced Morne Morkel; the first-change seamer induced a glove through to wicketkeeper AB de Villiers from Dean Brownlie and pinned Daniel Flynn lbw for a duck.
When Brendon McCullum, who battled away for over an hour and a half, was caught at slip attempting an ill-advised slog at Peterson’s second delivery, the tourists were in total disarray.
Colin Munro then fell for a golden duck on debut when he popped up a simple catch to short-leg from the next ball, leaving Doug Bracewell to accompany BJ Watling through to stumps.
New Zealand had reason to celebrate earlier in the day when Amla’s latest lengthy innings came to an end.
The prolific number three was caught down the leg side off Trent Boult, but du Plessis, 69 not out when play resumed, found another willing ally in Elgar, who gradually grew in confidence throughout the day.
Du Plessis, reprieved on 42 yesterday when replays showed he gloved a delivery to Watling only for the Black Caps to decide against reviewing the decision, duly brought up his second Test ton, having taken lunch with 99 to his name.
He eventually fell aiming a wild hack across the line against Munro, who subsequently had Peterson caught at midwicket.
Dale Steyn also departed to Bracewell, but South Africa batted on until Elgar reached his hundred with a one-bounce four over mid-on off Jeetan Patel, a shot that sparked jubilant celebrations.