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RCB’s Vettori, DD’s Bracewell pick up a wicket each
By IPL desk
Dunedin 07 March 2012
Graeme Smith, who will turn out for Pune Warriors India at IPL 2012, hit his 31st Test half-century to prevent a South Africa collapse against New Zealand in the first Test of the three-match series being played between the two sides. South Africa went on to finish the first day at 191 for the loss of seven wickets.
Earlier, it was New Zealand captain, Ross Taylor, recently traded by the Rajasthan Royals to the Delhi Daredevils, who won the toss and asked South Africa to bat first at the University Oval in Dunedin. The South Africa batsmen struggled right through the day and had it not been for the half-centuries from Smith (53) and Hashim Amla (62), and a dogged 46* (off 88 balls) from Jacques Rudolph, the hosts might well have been batting before the end of day’s play.
South Africa’s woes were compounded by the rare failure of both Jacques Kallis (0) and AB de Villiers (0) in the same innings. Kallis, who was picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders before IPL 2011, is among the leading run-getters in Test cricket while de Villiers, who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore, averages close to 50 in Tests.
New Zealand’s Chris Martin was responsible for much of the visitors’ travails, the paceman finishing with figures of 14-2-34-3. RCB’s Daniel Vettori and Delhi Daredevils’ Doug Bracewell provided adequate support to Martin with a wicket each.
Only 59 overs of play were possible on Day 1 as bad weather forced a delayed start to the Test match.
Brief scores: South Africa 1st innings 191/7 in 59 overs (Hashim Amla 62, Graeme Smith 53, Chris Martin 3/34)
Pune Warriors India paceman Ashoke Dinda is back in India colours after being selected for the forthcoming Asia Cup to be played in Bangladesh. The 27-year-old has made steady progress during his time out of the national side and is now keen to make the most of this opportunity. Dinda finds he has matured as a bowler in the past few seasons and feels more equipped to handle the challenges that international cricket poses.
"I have learned to control my swing. Earlier, I was too happy to bowl bouncers but now I know the importance of bowling fuller length deliveries. Also, I have practiced with a shorter run-up as it helps to get the ball zip off the turf – something Ajit Agarkar has done well over the years," he was quoted as saying.
The former Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils bowler also credits Eric Simons, India’s previous bowling coach, for helping him improve as a bowler.
"When I was with Delhi Daredevils last year, it was [Eric] Simmons who told me to bowl aiming at a single stump. I did practice for long hours and that helped me hit a consistent length throughout the season," he said.
Now with the Pune Warriors franchise, Dinda revealed he had the backing of Sourav Ganguly and that the former India skipper always wanted him in his side.
"I wasn't surprised as Dadi [Sourav Ganguly] had told me that he wants me in Pune Warriors. He has been a constant source of encouragement for me this season. Having someone of his stature on the field means that your mistakes are pointed out quite easily and one can take corrective measures," Dinda revealed.