By CricketCountry Staff
Wellington: Mar 25, 2012
With two days left in the Test, New Zealand trail by 409 runs in the first innings at Basin Reserve.
The host will be facing four-strong South African pacers, however with the pitch favouring the batsmen, New Zealand can try to bounce back in the game.
Earlier, South Africa declared and their position seemed invulnerable in a three-match series it leads 1-0. But Mark Gillespie led a late Kiwi fightback, taking a career-best 6 for 113 while Daniel Flynn (35) and Martin Guptill (28) saw New Zealand to 65 without loss by stumps.
The 32-year-old Gillespie followed up his 5 for 59 in the second test at Hamilton with his third haul of five wickets or more in a test, further endorsing the selectors' decision to recall him after a four year absence.
Flynn, who was recalled for this test after last playing for New Zealand in December, 2009, also rewarded that decision when, with Guptill, he defied South Africa's powerful pace attack for 107 minutes before stumps. South Africa remains in a position from which it is highly unlikely to lose the match and therefore to take out the series 1-0 after winning the second test by nine wickets. For that, they owe a great deal to Petersen who anchored their innings over the best part of three days in a major feat of concentration.
He batted through the 42 overs bowled between a rain-delayed start and a finish hastened by bad light on the first day. He batted on through all of the 37 overs allowed by rain and bad light on the second day.
And he batted through all of the first session on Sunday, completing his third test century and surpassing his previous-highest test score of 109 before falling four balls after lunch.
In total, his innings last 8 hours, 13 minutes and he faced 335 balls, equivalent of more than 56 overs. He hit 19 fours and a six.
Duminy was the only player out in the first session as South Africa added 116 runs to its overnight total of 246-2. He reached his second test century, following his 166 in Melbourne in 2008, in 260 minutes, from 180 balls with 13 sixes. But he was out only seven balls later for 103 when South Africa was 306-3, after adding exactly 200 for the third wicket with Petersen in 60 overs.
Petersen carried on to lunch when he already had 156 and was out soon after without adding to his or South Africa's total. His dismissal led to a mini collapse by the South Africa which quickly lost four wickets for 42 runs.
Mark Boucher (46) and Vernon Philander (29) stopped the slide and allowed South Africa to reach a position from which a declaration was tenable, with 25 overs still remaining in the third day's play and two days left. Gillespie hastened the declaration when he dismissed Philander for his sixth wicket of the innings.
Brief Scores: South Africa 474 for 9 dec (Alviro Petersen 156, JP Duminy 103, Hashim Amla 63; Mark Gillespie 6 for 113, Chris Martin 2 for 95) lead New Zealand 65 for no loss (Daniel Flynn 35*, Martin Guptill 28*) by 409 runs.