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IPL desk in Dunedin 07 March 2012 - 12:45pm IST

PWI’s Smith hits half-century

RCB’s Vettori, DD’s Bracewell pick up a wicket each

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)

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