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Vettori saves NZ blushes
03 Nov 2007
By: Zac Gelman

The New Zealand batsmen put on a poor display in front of a Potchefstroom crowd yesterday, saved only by their captain's late heroics.

After dominating the opening day South Africa A were in a prime position of 4-350 after McKenzie laid down his claims for a Test recall with an 150. He added to his overnight score to end up on 182 before Jacob Oram made the breakthrough having him caught behind, 18 runs short of his double century.

New Zealand wrapped up the tail quickly in the next few overs which must have come as a welcome relief after working so hard for no reward for so long.

The relief was short lived though and when the New Zealand batsmen came to the crease and eventually left it before day's end, the score card made for ugly reading.

Langeveldt had Papps out bowled for one in the third over and Vincent failed to hold the line with 21 before being caught of the bowling of Tsotsobe, mistiming a drive.

Cumming lasted only a few more deliveries before failing to pull de Wet only to have it go straight up in the air, departing for 11.

New man in Styris didn't last long either and was bowled by de Wet for 10 and although it was up to Oram to stop the collapse, he wasn't able to stay in the middle for more than eight deliveries for his two.

McCullum followed the script and was out for eight. New Zealand were in an embarrassing situation at 6 for 63 and it was looking unlikely that they would crack the hundred against South Africa's second finest.

It was left to Daniel Vettori, not for the first time, to save New Zealand's collective skins, showing the more established batsmen how to do their jobs.

He struck two fours in his first three balls at the crease and held his nerve with the tail to rebuild the South African innings. He began running out of partners however and on a magnificent 83 at more than a run a ball, he was caught at slips brining the New Zealand innings to a close at 192, a score that looked impossible at 6-63 but still far off South Africa's first innings total of 443.

For the A side, de Wet starred with the ball taking 6-50 and Tsotsobe's 3-67 was impressive as well.

New Zealand ended off the day on a high note however, with Chris Martin taking two early wickets against the South Africa A top order just before the close of play, Bodi and Petersen, dismissed for a combined five runs and South Africa reeling at 2-20.

South Africa A 443
Neil McKenzie 182, Boeta Dippenaar 99
Oram 3-39, Vettori 3-80

New Zealand 192
Vettori 83
de Wet 6-50, Tsotsobe 3-67

South Africa 2-20
Chris Martin 2-0

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