Runs, Runs and more Runs

A maiden test century to Hashim Amla was the feature of an otherwise dull fourth day of Test cricket as the second Test between New Zealand and South Africa ambled towards a draw at Cape Town today (SA time).

Amla, who was eventually dismissed for 149, led the charge as South Africa chased, then eased its way past the follow-on total of 393.

There were a few anxious moments for South African supporters after New Zealand spin duo, Daniel Vettori and Jeetan Patel, both struck to leave the home side five down with 33 runs still to get to make the tourists bat again.

But Ashwell Prince (70 not out) and Mark Boucher (26 not out) quickly erased any New Zealand hopes of enforcing the follow-on, compiling an unbeaten partnership of 66 before bad light ended the day early yet again.

Amla’s maiden ton earlier in the day was reached without too many difficulties. He took 242 balls to reach the ton, which indicated the cautious approach required at times on the Cape Town surface, but still pulled out some sparkling shots when Vettori, in particular, was astray.

When he finally went for 149, thanks to a slightly suspect LBW shout from Daniel Vettori, he had scored 20 fours during his 408-ball stay.

Earlier in the day, he and Kallis had taken the sting out of the New Zealand attack, putting on 144 runs between them.

The 92 runs put on by Amla and Prince were perhaps more heartbreaking for the Kiwis, as hopes of squaring the series began to fade.

And although impressive debutant Patel snared AB de Villiers for just 13, Prince’s and Boucher’s partnership may well have consigned the test to an early grave.

New Zealand 593/8 dec.
Stephen Fleming 262, James Franklin 122*
Makhaya Ntini 4-162

South Africa 427/5
Hashim Amla 149, Jacques Kallis 71, Ashwell Prince 70*, Boeta Dippenaar 47
Jeetan Patel 3/112

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