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South Africa took charge on a rain hit first day – 3rd Test vs. New Zealand

Zia Rana March 23, 2012

South Africa 136-2 (Hashim Amla 63, Alviro Petersen 44* Jean-Paul Duminy 23*, Doug Bracewell 1-30).

Hashim Amla - polished 63 runs on the first day of 3rd Test

Hashim Amla - polished 63 runs on the first day of 3rd Test

South Africa got off to a great start in the third Test against New Zealand and  reached at 136 for the loss of two wickets on the rain affected first day.

The third and final Test of the series began at Basin Reserve, Wellington on March 23, 2012.

Earlier, Ross Taylor won the toss at 1.40 pm due to continued drizzle and opted to bowl first on the green top wicket, a decision that aimed at assisting  the bowlers early in the the play which started at 2.00 pm.

The Proteas initiated the innings with their regular openers, Graeme Smith and Alviro Petersen who have been well for them for quite some time. They were cautious in the opening overs as the first five overs produced just 13 runs and the third over ended as a maiden. The home side got the first success of the day when Smith was given caught behind off Dough Bracewell by umpire Aleem Dar and the decision was maintained even after it was referred to the third umpire though the edge did not look too convincing.

Smith was gone for five, the score board showed just 13 runs and the wicket was lost on the on the first ball of the sixth over when the seasoned Hashim Amla appeared in the centre. He opened his account with three runs and added five runs in the next over as Petersen was consistent at the other end.

Amla earned a boundary almost in every over and Petersen joined him in the 11th over as the first fifty of the innings was posted in the 13th over. The flow of runs was checked by the Kiwi bowlers who gave away 15 runs from 13th to 23rd overs as Petersen dispatched a six in the 24th over. Amla took over from the next over and sent the ball out of the rope several times and achieved his fifty in the 29th over while earning three fours in the same over.

The first hundred of the innings was scored in the 30th over as Petersen got a four on the fourth ball, and tea was taken three overs later. The Black Caps struck right after tea when Hashim Amla was caught behind by Kruger van Wyk off Mark Gillespie for 63 scored from 98 balls with the assistance of 10 fours. The second wicket fell at 106 runs as Jean-Paul Duminy joined in with the solid going Alviro Petersen.

The duo kept on consolidating and added 30 runs before the last ball of the day was delivered by Daniel Vettori. South Africa had reached at 136 for the loss of two wickets in 42 overs at stumps on the first day. Petersen and Duminy were at the crease with 44 and 23 runs respectively.

The post lunch session on the second day will be important for both teams as they will try to take the decisive initiative in the match.

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