Cricket: Gibbs takes time to blossom
New Zealand 168 South Africa 229-1
The principal culprit, if one can call him that, was Herschelle Gibbs who took 383 minutes of hard labour to get to his maiden Test century. The redeeming feature may be that having achieved that landmark, his previous highest score was 54, he will show what he is made of.
New Zealand's attack was pretty ordinary. Simon Doull, who had strained an ankle on Thursday, was able to bowl but was perhaps too careful not to aggravate the injury.
The others were journeymen. Geoff Allott, left arm over the wicket, was at best steady; Dion Nash has neither the pace nor the swing he once showed. Daniel Vettori, the left-arm spinner, bowled a tidy length but lacks any sort of guile, while Chris Harris and Nathan Astle are medium-pace dobbers.
The South Africans like to win and this probably justified, for them, their depressing progress. It will serve them right if a doubtful weather forecast wins the day. Gary Kirsten and Gibbs batted for an unconscionable time, as if facing Australia, attempting almost nothing on an orderly pitch.
They put on 127 for the first wicket in 52 overs before Gibbs gave himself away when he straight drove Vettori for six and, soon after lunch, Kirsten swept at Vettori and was caught at midwicket. Thus fell the day's only wicket.
Jacques Kallis began with a flurry of strokes but soon disappeared back into his shell. The rest of an interminable day was spent watching Gibbs negotiate that first hundred. He spent 39 minutes in the 80s, 54 minutes in the 90s and when a lovely cover drive off Allott took him to a hundred he had faced 268 balls. It has been that sort of Test match.
Second day: New Zealand won toss
NEW ZEALAND - First innings 168 (Pollock 4-34)
SOUTH AFRICA - First innings
G Kirsten c Astle b Vettori 65
H H Gibbs not out 101
J H Kallis not out 53
Extras (6lb 4nb) 10
Total (for 1, 101 overs) 229
Fall of wickets: 1-127
To bat: D J Cullinan, *W J Cronje, J N Rhodes, S M Pollock, M V Boucher, L Klusener, P R Adams, A A Donald.
Bowling: S B Doull 19.5-7-26-0; G I Allott 25-7-70-0; D J Nash 17-5- 38-0; N J Astle 5.1-1-12-0; D L Vettori 21-5-62-1; G R Stead 1-0-1-0; C Z Harris 12-6-14-0.
Umpires: K T Francis (Sri Lanka) and D M Quested (New Zealand).
Latest in Sport
Wow - what a weekend for British Motorcycle racing!
by Luke Wilkins
22 May 2013 05:00 AM
The dust is barely settling on the Premier League season and the bookies are looking to persuade us ...
by Gareth Purnell
22 May 2013 02:01 AM
The guard has changed at Old Trafford for the first time in 26 years. Meanwhile, down the road, the ...
by The Sports Lawyer
21 May 2013 10:01 PM
- 1 'Sickening, deluded and unforgivable': Bloody attack brings terror to capital’s streets
- 2 Mothers' diets may harm IQs in two-thirds of babies
- 3 Far-right French historian, 78-year-old Dominique Venner, commits suicide in Notre Dame in protest against gay marriage
- 4 Eyewitness gives extraordinary account of her confrontation with Woolwich attackers
- 5 Woolwich attack: The EDL might have a sinister plan as a soldier is murdered in suspected Islamic terrorist attack
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.