Cricket: Kiwis bat to Test safety

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South Africa 621-5 dec New Zealand 352 & 244-3 Match drawn

NEW ZEALAND salvaged a draw from the first Test against South Africa in Auckland yesterday in a match that will be remembered for high and low batting records. Daryll Cullinan's 275 not out, a record South African Test innings, and New Zealand tail-ender Geoff Allott's world record 101 minutes without scoring were both indicative of the lifeless Eden Park pitch.

When the match petered out, New Zealand were 244 for 3 in their second innings, still 25 behind South Africa's first innings score of 621 for 5 declared.

Starting the final day's play at 4 for 0, New Zealand had an early concern when Shaun Pollock had Matthew Bell caught for six, hooking to Allan Donald on the fine-leg boundary. But Matt Horne (60), Roger Twose (65) and Nathan Astle (69 not out) kept South Africa at bay.

Horne was the only batsman out between lunch and tea, when a ball from spinner Paul Adams hit him on the body and trickled on to the stumps.

Along with his 93 in the first innings, Horne completed a good match double and importantly occupied the crease for over two hours yesterday.

South Africa play a three-day match against a NZ Academy XI starting on Saturday and then the second Test in Christchurch on 11 March.

Final day; New Zealand won the toss

SOUTH AFRICA - First Innings 621-5 dec (D J Cullinan 275 no, G Kirsten 128).

NEW ZEALAND - First Innings 352 (M J Horne 93)

NEW ZEALAND - Second Innings

(Overnight 4 for 0)

M J Horne b Adams 60

M D Bell c Donald b Pollock 6

R G Twose c Cullinan b Klusener 65

N J Astle not out 69

C D McMillan not out 22

Extras (13b, 2lb, 2w, 5nb) 22

Total (for 3, 84 overs) 244

Fall: 1-15, 2-104, 3-193.

Did not bat: A C Parore, C Z Harris, *D J Nash, D L Vettori, S B Doull, G I Allott.

Bowling: Kallis 13-0-61-0; Pollock 13-5-21-1; Donald 9-2-20-0; Klusener 12-6-26-1; Adams 30-11-96-1; Cronje 6-3-5-0.

Umpires: D B Cowie and D J Harper (Aus).