South African bats­men make merry to take con­trol

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE -

Pre­to­ria: South Africa’s top four bats­men all made half- cen­turies as New Zealand’s de­ci­sion to bowl first failed to pay off on the first day of the se­ries- de­cid­ing sec­ond Test at Su­perS­port Park on Satur­day.

South Africa were 283/ 3 at the end of a day when New Zealand were on the wrong end of no fewer than five leg be­fore wicket de­ci­sions, while seam bowler Doug Bracewell limped off late in the day with what ap­peared to be a ham­string in­jury.

Stephen Cook ( 56) and Quin­ton de Kock ( 82) gave South Africa a strong start with an open­ing part­ner­ship of 133. Hashim Amla and JP Du­miny fol­lowed up with in­nings of 58 and 67 not out re­spec­tively.

Cook, Amla and Du­miny all sur­vived close calls by the um­pires.

New Zealand un­suc­cess­fully called for a re­view when Cook was given not out against Trent Boult by um­pire Paul Reif­fel when he was on one. Re­plays showed he got a faint in­side edge.

Um­pire Ian Gould was then in­volved in four de­ci­sions, giv­ing Amla and Du­miny out but see­ing both over­turned on re­view, while New Zealand failed to call for re­views when Cook and Du­miny were given not out, with re­plays show­ing the ball hit­ting the stumps con­vinc­ingly on both oc­ca­sions.

The bright­est bat­ting came in the morn­ing when Cook and De Kock took South Africa to 100 for no wicket.

It was South Africa’s first Test cen­tury open­ing part­ner­ship since De­cem­ber 2013, while it was in­dica­tive of the dif­fi­culty of bat­ting first on the of­ten- lively pitches in South Africa that it was the first time since March 2009 that any team had reached three fig­ures with­out los­ing a wicket be­fore lunch on the first day of a Test in the coun­try, when Si­mon Katich and the late Phillip Hughes did it for Aus­tralia in Dur­ban.

De Kock, the South African wick­et­keeper, was moved up to open the bat­ting, which he does reg­u­larly in lim­ited- overs in­ter­na­tion­als, af­ter Dean El­gar sprained an an­kle dur­ing field­ing prac­tice on Fri­day. Sti­aan van Zyl came into the side and was ex­pected to bat at num­ber seven. Brief scores: Colombo: Sri Lanka cap­tain An­gelo Mathews has taken a jibe at Aus­tralia cap­tain Steve Smith, say­ing he would not have left his team in the mid­dle of a se­ries like his Aussie coun­ter­part.

Smith went back af­ter the sec­ond ODI against the Lankans, with chief se­lec­tor Rod Marsh and head coach Dar­ren Lehmann ask­ing him to take a break.

“They have their own play­er­man­age­ment sys­tem,” Mathews said on the eve of the third ODI on Satur­day. “But hon­estly, if it was me, I wouldn’t have be­cause it is a tough tour and you need the cap­tain along­side the play­ing 11,” he added.

— AP — AP — AFP — PTI — AFP — BCCI — AFP

West Indies’ Evin Lewis ( 100) and In­dia’s KL Rahul ( 110*) notched up bril­liant cen­turies in the first T20 In­ter­na­tional in Fort Lauderdale, USA, on Satur­day South Africa’s Quin­ton de Kock drives dur­ing his knock of 82 against New Zealand in Pre­to­ria...

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