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McCullum on Fire
09 Apr 2006
By: Matt Currie


Stephen Fleming and Brendon McCullum hit centuries, Chris Martin batted for an hour and a half, and New Zealand suffered a middle order collapse in an eventful third days play from Benoni.

New Zealand started the day at 159/2, still 236 runs behind the Rest of South Africa's first innings effort. Fleming and Fulton started positively though, both reaching milestones inside the first hour of play.

Fleming brought up his century, and Fulton raced past 50 before he was out caught behind for 73. Fleming joined him back in the pavilion three overs later for a well played 118, and this prompted a classic New Zealand middle order collapse.

Jacob Oram nicked out first ball, Styris hung around for half an hour before he threw his wicket away for 17, and Vettori and Franklin were both quickly dismissed for single figure scores which left New Zealand 280/8 at lunch.

Cue Brendon McCullum to save the day for New Zealand. He came out after lunch and blazed his way to 101 off just 98 balls, and was ably assisted by the most unlikely of batting partners, Chris Martin.

Martin hit two fours in his 86 minute stay at the wicket; he survived 41 balls and made nine valuable runs. It was cruel for McCullum to throw his wicket away after reaching his ton and deny Martin a rear chance at making double figures.

Shane Bond didn?t bat for the kiwi's so New Zealand ended their first turn at bat on tour at 372/9, only 23 runs behind the Rest of South Africa's first innings score.

The South African's then set about increasing their advantage, reaching 132/4 by stumps and taking their overall lead to 155. Martin, Oram, Franklin and Vettori all took a wicket each for New Zealand.

Justin Ontong is still at the wicket for the hosts, he is currently on 59. Skipper Neil McKenzie will be with him for the start of the fourth and final day of the tour match as they look to either hit some quick runs and set New Zealand something to chase in the final two sessions, or bat out the day and settle for a draw.

Rest of South Africa 395
Neil McKenzie 141, JP Duminy 127
James Franklin 4-80, Chris Martin 2-74

New Zealand 372
Stephen Fleming 118, Brendon McCullum 101
Monde Zondeki 4-107, Rory Kleinveldt 2-96, Garnett Kruger 2-101

Rest of South Africa 132-4
Justin Ontong 59*, Stephen Cook 38
Jacob Oram 1-23, Daniel Vettori 1-32, James Franklin 1-34, Chris Martin 1-38

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