Kiwis lead by 109 runs in 3rd Test

New Zealand were 128 for 5 leading by 109 runs after bowling out South Africa for 316 on the third day of the third Test at the Basin Reserve today.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:06 IST
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Wellington:New Zealand were 128 for 5 leading by 109 runs after bowling out South Africa for 316 on the third day of the third Test at the Basin Reserve today. New Zealand struggled to capitalise on their swift dismissal of South Africa progressing slowly to 49 for two at tea. Post-tea the Kiwi top order collapsed, leaving Scott Styris (41) and Chris Cairns (7) at the crease on stumps of day 3. South Africa's dismissal for 316 in the morning session, with left it with a first-innings lead of only 19 runs, left the match and the series closely balanced. Kiwis stumble New Zealand stumbled through the 129 minutes and 29 overs of the second session, taking the match past its halfway point, to reach tea with an overall lead of 30 runs and eight second-innings wickets in hand. The loss of its captain, Stephen Fleming, for nine after opener Michael Papps was out without scoring, rocked New Zealand, harming its ability to dictate terms on the Tests' last two days. Mark Richardson was 31 not out and Mathew Sinclair had yet to score when tea was taken as New Zealand made uncharacteristically slow progress against an exacting new-ball attack. Fleming falls to Nel Fleming, who was caught by wicketkeeper Mark Boucher from the bowling of Andrew Nel in the 24th over, batted 101 minutes for his nine, showing none of his typical fluency. Richardson had batted more than two hours at tea while Sinclair, renowned as a slow starter, had been 20 minutes at the crease without scoring. Earlier, New Zealand had fought its way onto level terms in the match when it claimed seven South African wickets for 79 runs during the morning session. South Africa resumed at 237 for three in reply to New Zealand's first innings of 297, 60 runs behind and in a position to take command of the match. Martin strikes Right armer Chris Martin ran through the South African middle order with the second new ball, taking three for 21 from seven overs to set in train a collapse which broke down the tourists' strong position. Martin finished with five for 55 from 20 overs, his third five-wicket bag in consecutive Test innings after his hauls of six for 76 and five for 104 in the second Test at Auckland. He was only the third New Zealand after Jack Cowie and Richard Hadlee (twice) to take five wickets in three consecutive innings. Chris Cairns wrapped up the tail, taking three wickets today to finish with four for 60 from 16.5 overs. Jacques Rudolph, who was 60 not out overnight, was left 93 not out when he ran out of partners, seven runs from his fourth Test century and his second in successive innings. New Zealand leads the three-Test series 1-0 and needs only a draw in Wellington to beat South Africa in a Test series for the first time. (AP)

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