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IPL desk in Hamilton 17 March 2012 - 12:10pm IST

Smith half-century gives SA nine-wicket win

PWI batsman scores 55* as visitors take 1-0 lead

South Africa captain Graeme Smith scored an unbeaten half-century as his team took an unassailable 1-0 lead against New Zealand in the second of the on-going three-Test series. This was the Pune Warriors India batsman’s third 50-plus score of the series in which he is now the leading run-getter – having scored 236 runs in four innings at an average of 78.66.

Earlier, the South Africans bowled the hosts out for 168 in their second innings, after reducing them to 65 for four by the end of Day 2. There was resistance from No.5 batsman Kane Williamson who scored 193-ball 77. However, a six-wicket haul from South African pacer Vernon Philander forced an early end to the hosts’ innings.

Needing 101 to win, South Africa lost opener Alviro Peterson (1) early when he was caught by wicketkeeper Kruger van Wyk off Doug Bracewell. But Smith’s fluent innings (55* off 60) and Hashim Amla’s unbeaten 46 saw the visitors home. Smith’s half-century was the 32nd of his 98-Test career.

The third Test between the two teams will begin at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on March 23. The first Test played at the University Oval from March 7 to 11 had ended in a draw.

Brief scores: South Africa 1st innings 253/10 in 77.3 overs (AB de Villiers 83, Morne Morkel 35*, Mark Gillespie 5/59) and South Africa 2nd innings 103/1 in 19.5 overs (Graeme Smith 55*, Hashim Amla 46*) beat New Zealand 1st innings 185/10 in 61.2 overs (Brendon McCullum 61, Ross Taylor 44, Vernon Philander 4/70, Dale Steyn 3/49) and New Zealand 2nd innings 168/10 in 31.0 overs (Kane Williamson 77, Vernon Philander 6/44) by nine wickets.

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