South Africa lead NZ by 207 runs after first day

Published: Thursday | January 3, 2013 Comments 0

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP):

Alviro Petersen, Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis bullied New Zealand with the bat after Vernon Philander destroyed the tourists with the ball to give South Africa a 207-run lead, after a lopsided opening day of their Test series at Newlands yesterday.

Petersen was 103 not out and Amla (66) and Kallis (60) both made half-centuries to take the top-ranked Proteas to 252-3 at stumps and a firm hold on the first match and the series with only three sessions played.

South Africa undoubtedly owned all of those sessions, starting when Philander took 5-7 in six overs to rip the heart out of New Zealand's batting and send them to 45 all out, and ending late in the day with Petersen's fifth Test century.

In between, South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn (2-18) became the equal third quickest bowler to reach 300 Test wickets and Kallis just the fourth batsman to reach 13,000 Test runs, as the home team racked up milestones and achievements and looked on course for a fifth-straight series win.

"Obviously, it's nice to get the recognition," Kallis said after joining Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting and Rahul Dravid past 13,000 runs. "Especially when you're playing in a team that's starting to put some special results together."

The beleaguered Black Caps were left to face inevitable questions over the gulf in class between them and the best Test team in the world.

"Everyone's bitterly disappointed," New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum said, calling the atmosphere in the tourists' dressing room "sombre".

"Everyone is hurting immensely. The real challenge for us here is to be able to turn up tomorrow. Today was just a really poor day."

New Zealand were bowled out in less than 20 overs for their third lowest Test total, the 12th lowest ever and the lowest at the Cape Town venue in over 100 years.

"It obviously happened quite quickly. We bowled the ball in the right areas. I'll take that," Philander said after South Africa needed just their three front-line quick bowlers to knock over the New Zealanders. "It's beautiful," Philander added. "The quicker the better, hey?"

Unsettled by the exit of former captain Ross Taylor and missing crucial experience, New Zealand's start to five-day cricket under new skipper McCullum took only 10 overs to unravel as Philander's unerring line and length reduced them to 27-5, with the right-arm seamer needing just 25 balls and one spell to register one of the quickest five-wicket hauls in Tests.

Morne Morkel (3-14) and spearhead Steyn added pace and aggression as New Zealand slumped to their lowest total in over 66 years since crashing to 42 all out against Australia in 1946.

"I went through a pretty tough initiation," McCullum said. "We've got a monumental job to pull ourselves out of this and salvage something."

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