IPL desk in Hamilton 15 March 2012 - 12:18pm IST
NZ collapse despite McCullum half-century
KKR batsman continues form even as NZ fold for 185
However, two wickets from Kiwi paceman, Chris Martin, late in the day gave the hosts some respite; the visitors finished at 27 for two at stumps.
Earlier, McCullum, batting at No. 3, made his way out to the middle when SA pacer Vernon Philander had removed Kiwi opener Rob Nicol (2) with the hosts’ score at 11. Then with Deccan Chargers paceman Dale Steyn accounting for Martin Guptill (22), McCullum was joined by recent Delhi Daredevils signing, Ross Taylor. Together, the pair added 89 for the third wicket and helped consolidate NZ’s position. McCullum even brought up his 22nd Test half-century during the course of his partnership, his second of the series.
However, with the Kiwi score at 133, the hosts lost five wickets in the space of 20 deliveries to hand the advantage right back to the visitors. Philander (four for 70 overall) took three wickets while Steyn (three for 49 overall) chipped in with two scalps in an extraordinary passage of play which saw NZ lose five batsmen without a run being added to the total. McCullum made 61 while Taylor made 44. Imran Tahir’s two lower-order wickets then had NZ bowled out for 185.
However, with South Africa having less than an hour to bat, Kiwi paceman Chris Martin accounted for Graeme Smith (13) and Dale Steyn (4) to bring the hosts back into the match.
McCullum would be happy with his form this far in a series that has largely been dominated by the bowlers. Barring South Africa’s second innings in the drawn first Test, Hashim Amla’s 62 is the highest score in the other innings of this series. In that light, McCullum’s scores of 48, 58* and 61 have been remarkably consistent.
Brief scores: New Zealand 1st innings 185/10 in 61.2 overs (Brendon McCullum 61, Ross Taylor 44, Vernon Philander 4/70, Dale Steyn 3/49); South Africa 1st innings 27/2 in 11.0 overs (Alviro Peterson 8*, Chris Martin 2/18)