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Vettori bright in bad NZ start
25 Oct 2007
By: Sean Bennett

Captain Daniel Vettori's 99 was the only bright spot in a dull start to the black caps' tour of South Africa.

With the full South Africa side still in Pakistan, new Zealand collapsed to 318 all out against a South African Invitation XI at Bloemfontein, with Brendon McCullum the only other kiwi to pass 35.

Among the heroes with the ball for the hosts were, Yusuf Abdullah - who took 4-81 in just his eleventh FC game, and Ethy Mbhalati, whose 3-50 included the first wicket of Michael Papps for 2 to precipitate a top order collapse.

Fellow opener Craig Cumming did little better before being caught by Imraan Khan off Abdullah.

All of the New Zealand middle order got starts, but none of them went on and the wickets fell steadily. When Scott Styris' gritty innings of 29 and Jacob Oram's 23 were halted without the score progressing in between, the tourists were in the mire at 126-6.

However, wicketkeeper McCullum and captain Vettori counter attacked and added 110 in little over 20 overs. McCullum produced 46 off 59 but was overshdowed by his captains 118-ball 99.

Even once McCullum was out, caught and bowled by Tsotsobe, Vettori found an ally in perenially injured fast bowler Shane Bond. The pair tok the score to 293, sparing New Zealand's blushes before Abdullah came back to clear up the tail. The left-arm seamer had Bond trapped lbw and Vettori caught by Van Wyk 1 short of a well deserved century, before finishing the innings and the day by removing internationally renowned joke with the bat Chris Martin without scoring.

New Zealand 318
Daniel Vettori 99, Brendon McCullum 46
Yusuf Abdullah 4-81, Ethy Mbhalati 3-50

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