Bowlers hold sway in Joburg

On a day dominated by bowlers, Graeme Smith’s decision to bat first at the Wanderers today didn’t quite go to plan, but his opening bowlers salvaged some thing for South Africa to take into the second day of the opening Test against New Zealand.

Earlier on, Shane Bond’s 4-73 and Chris Martin’s 3-67 gave the tourists a huge advantage, helping bowl the South Africans out for a less than satisfactory 226.

It was Martin who struck first, after the hosts had scored just one run. South Africa’s captain Graeme Smith was the the victim, playing on to his stumps. Shortly after, quick bowler Bond, playing only his seventeenth Test in an injury ridden career, removed Hashim Amla with a fast and short delivery which Amla deflected to wicketkeeper Brendan McCullum.

Jacques Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs added 53 to the score when at the crease together. However, Kallis was dropped twice and his luck finally ran out on 29, caught behind off Iain O’Brien – who ironically dropped the latter of the chances Kallis got away with.

Bond struck again 5 overs later. Ashwell Prince never looked at home and edged his fifteenth delivery to Stephen Fleming at slip having scored just one run. South Africa were in trouble at 92-4. However, Gibbs was still at the crease and still battling towards his ultimate score of 63. The talented young AB de Villiers lent him a hand, mucking in for an unusually subdued 33. Martin and Bond both struck again to remove the pair before they did any permament repair work, though.

As the New Zealand bowlers reached the South African tail, only wicketkeeper-batsman Mark Boucher could stand in the way of a humiliating sub 200 score. He answered with a valiant 43, before losing his wicket to Vettori. The New Zealand captain backed up his seamers well, conceding a meagre 26 in his 18 overs and removing Harris as well as Boucher as the hosts stuttered to 226 all out.

Face was saved by quicks Dale Steyn and Makhaya Ntini, though. The pair removed one of the New Zealand openers each to reduced the black caps to 41-2 byt the close. However, ex-captain Stephen Fleming looked dagerous, plundering three fours and a six. He will resume on 22 tomorrow, hoping to maneuver New Zealand into a position of dominance.

South Africa 226
Herschelle Gibbs 63, Mark Boucher 43
Shane Bond 4-73, Chris Martin 3-67

New Zealand 41-2
Stephen Fleming 22*, Craig Cumming 12
Makhaya Ntini 1-10, Dale Steyn 1-15

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