Brendon McCullum, Ross Taylor keep New Zealand's hopes alive on day four

New Zealand will rely heavily on Brendon McCullum and skipper Ross Taylor in their bid to chase a mammoth target of 401 Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Dunedin: Mar 10, 2012

New Zealand were 137 for two chasing 401 in the first Test against South Africa when bad light brought play to an end four overs early on the fourth day at University Oval on Saturday.

The hosts will fancy their chances on an inconsistent, bouncy pitch with captain Ross Taylor (48*) and Brendon McCullum (58*) still at the crease at the end of day four.

Earlier, South Africa captain Graeme Smith had declared their second innings on 435 for five midway through the second session on Saturday, after Jacques Rudolph reached his sixth Test century and then put the New Zealand batsmen under immense pressure with his fast bowlers.

Rudolph was unbeaten on 105, while Mark Boucher remained not-out on 34 when South Africa ended their innings with a lead of 400 runs.

The pressure was evident on both opening batsmen with Martin Guptill unable to handle Philander’s late away movement as he was caught at third slip by AB de Villiers for six before tea. Guptill scored just six runs in his innings.

Rob Nicol got a full toss from legspinner Imran Tahir and hit the ball straight to Smith at mid-on for 19.

South Africa need to sweep the series 3-0 to take over the world number one test ranking from England.

Brief Scores: South Africa 238 all-out & 435 for 5 (Graeme Smith 115, Jacques Kallis 113, Jacques Rudolph 105; Doug Bracewell 3 for 70) lead New Zealand 137 for 2 (Brendon McCullum 58*, Ross Taylor 48*; Vernon Philander 1 for 29) & 273 all-out by 264 runs.

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