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Kane Williamson rescued New Zealand drawing the final Test vs. South Africa

Zia Rana March 27, 2012

South Africa   474-9 declared (Alviro Petersen 156, Jean-Paul-Duminy 103, Mark Gillespie 6-113) and 189-3 declared (AB de Villiers 68, Graeme Smith 41) drew against New Zealand 275 (Martin Guptill 59, Daniel Flynn 45, Vernon Philander 6-81) and 200-6 (Kane Williamson 102*, Kruger van Wyk 39, Morne Morkal 6-23).

Kane Williamson - a match saving innings of 102* runs

Kane Williamson - a match saving innings of 102* runs

Kane Williamson played a heroic knock of unbeaten 102 and saved New Zealand from a certain defeat in the third Test against South Africa.

South Africa dispatched 474 runs when they declared their first innings for the loss of nine wickets whereas New Zealand managed to avoid the follow on by just one run and were bowled out for 275. The Proteas declared their second innings at 189 after losing just three wickets and set a difficult target of 389 for the Kiwis to win the match. The home side was in danger at one stage but the courageous innings of unbeaten 102 from Kane Williamson led them to 200 for six wickets at the close of the last day’s play.

Morne Morkal of South Africa was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his lethal bowling in the second innings when he grabbed six wickets for just 23 runs and nearly took away the match from the Black Caps.

The third and final match of the series came to an end on March 27, 2012 at Basin Reserve, Wellington.

Earlier, South Africa started their second innings on the fifth day at 75 after 15 overs without any loss, Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith were at the crease with 38 and 34 runs respectively. The Kiwis got the first breakthrough of the day when Petersen attempted an impossible single, found himself stranded and ran himself out after the addition of just one run in his overnight score.

The first wicket fell at 77 runs as the hard hitting batsman AB de Villiers came in and joined with Smith. They enhanced the score to 106 runs when Smith was caught by Doug Bracewell at midwicket off Daniel Vettori for 41. Jean-Paul-Duminy came in next and the flow of scoring was speeded up with de Villiers as they added 9 runs in the 25th over followed by 14 in the next. The latter achieved his fifty in the 28th over by posting 19 runs in that over which included one six and two fours.

AB de Villiers was caught by Williamson at long off on the bowling of Bracewell after demonstrating a hurried knock of 68 from 49 balls with one six and eight fours. Graeme Smith declared the second innings soon after the loss of the third wicket at 189 in 29.4 overs as Duminy remained unbeaten for 33 off 23 deliveries with three sixes and two fours.

New Zealand was given a hard task of chasing 389 runs to win the match and started their innings with a disaster as they lost two quick wickets for just one run on board when Kane Williamson took guards. Morne Morkal was unplayable after taking the initial two wickets and the home batsmen found it hard to tackle with his deadly deliveries. He got his third wicket with the addition of 31 runs in the total when Dean Brownlie was gone for 15.

Williamson got a life when he was dropped by Petersen at gully off Morkal for 10 runs and was lucky again when he was let off by de Villiers on the bowling of Marchant de Lange at 22. Brownlie decided to attack and earned 14 runs in the 29th over with three fours and he too was dropped at 15 runs by Graeme Smith off Vernon Philander. The duo added 51 runs for the fourth wicket when Brownlie was finally clean bowled by Morkal for 15 runs.

The fourth wicket was lost at 83 runs and Morkal uprooted the stumps of Vettori on the very next ball and the home side was reeling at 83 for five wickets. Kruger van Wyk was the next batsman to face the music under the trying conditions but provided able assistance to Williamson who was consolidating at the other end. They associated 80 runs partnership for the sixth wicket and took the Black Caps out of danger as van Wyk was caught and bowled by Morkal for 39 runs.

Williamson smashed his second ton in the Test on the fifth ball of the 69th over which was hailed by his team mates from the dressing room. He saw through the remaining overs well assisted by Bracewell at the other end as Smith called off the play after the end of the 81st over. Kane Williamson saved the game for New Zealand with a dedicated innings of unbeaten 102 runs as they managed 200 runs with four wickets still in hand.

Morne Morkal excelled with the ball and was the only wicket taker with six for 23 runs in 16.4 overs.

The third and final Test ended in a draw but South Africa clinched the series 1-0 by winning the second Test by 9 wickets at Hamilton on March 17, 2012.

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