Proteas hammer Black Caps

South Africa completed a mammoth 358-run victory over New Zealand on the fourth day at The Wanderers, taking the 6 wickets they needed (Shane Bond did not take the unnecessary risk of batting) within 24 overs, and cruising to a 1-0 series lead. Dale Steyn was once again the star of the show, completing twin five-wicket hauls and hence a maiden ten-for.

It took the Titans seamer just 3 deliveries to make his first breakthrough, though he was somewhat fortunate on this occasion as Scott Styris gloved a leg-side delivery to Mark Boucher. Andre Nel, who should have had Brendon McCullum lbw the previous evening, again found his luck out in an opening spell that was probing and threatening. Steyn, meanwhile, once again could not believe his luck as the wicketkeeper-batsman slammed a wide long-hop straight to Herschelle Gibbs at gully in a virtual action-replay of Ross Taylor’s first-innings dismissal to Jacques Kallis. This, finally, brought Michael Papps to the crease, having been unable to open due to a gastric illness.

Papps, however, did not last long, and when Kallis replaced Nel, whose luck remained out throughout a long spell, he struck immediately, as the batsman pushed forlornly at an utterly straightforward delivery and edged to AB de Villiers who, as he and his team-mates did all game, made no mistake in the slips.

Paul Harris finally got his first bowl of the match just before lunch, and continued after the break. In his 4th over, Jacob Oram, who had biffed and nudged his way to 40, played an ugly and unfathomable stroke – after advancing, he got to the pitch of the ball but checked the shot, and ended-up lofting it one-handed straight down Nel’s throat at deep-mid-wicket. South Africa’s unblemished match in the field was spoiled the following over, as Steyn missed a straightforward return catch from Iain O’Brien, who had chipped a slower-delivery back at him. The miss did not cost Steyn, however, as he tried the slower-delivery again the following over and saw O’Brien flick the ball into Hashim Amla at short-leg, hitting enough of him to rebound upwards, and the fielder took a magnificent reflex catch as he spun around.

In Steyn’s following over it was done and dusted. Chris Martin is rarely the most difficult to dismiss, and Steyn kept it simple, bowled straight and full, and disturbed the timber at the 3rd attempt. He had 5-59, 10-93 in the game, and had starred in a clinical performance from his side. New Zealand’s problems worsen with Bond flying home, and likely to miss the remainder of the tour. The teams now travel to Centurion, with the Second Test beginning on Friday 16th. South Africa would be very happy indeed with a repeat performance there.

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

New Zealand 118
Dale Steyn 5-34, Makhaya Ntini 3-47

South Africa 422 for 3 declared
Hashim Amla 186*, Jacques Kallis 186

New Zealand 172
Daniel Vettori 46*
Dale Steyn 5-59

South Africa won by 358 runs

Man of the Match: Dale Steyn

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