McKenzie and Rudolph inspire South Africa

South Africa 325-4dec Kent 47-2
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The Independent Online

Kent were made to struggle for wickets in sweltering conditions here yesterday with South Africa hitting 325 for 4 declared after deciding to make first use of an easy-paced pitch.

The tourists survived the early loss of Herschelle Gibbs, caught low at second slip off Alamgir Sheriyar, and Gary Kirsten, who retired hurt with a bruised right elbow inflicted by Martin Saggers at 44 for 1. Kirsten had made 40 of those runs and all but eight of them had come from boundaries.

After the visitors had lost Boeta Dippenaar cheaply to a diving right-handed catch by Robert Key at third slip, Jacques Kallis gradually took control in his first first-class match since January this year.

Sheriyar claimed his second wicket half an hour after lunch when he had Kallis caught behind for 77. Kallis had put on 79 for the third wicket with Neil McKenzie, who then featured in a superb fourth-wicket stand of 179 with Jacques Rudolph.

McKenzie remained unbeaten with 105, but Rudolph was eight short of his hundred when he was caught by Saggers off Alex Loudon, whose first first-class wicket for Kent prompted South Africa's declaration.

With 17 overs remaining, Kent's reply started poorly. Michael Carberry edged the left-arm pace bowler Charl Willoughby to fourth slip and Ed Smith was soon caught behind off Monde Zondeki. Having been reduced to 24 for 2, however, Kent survived until the close without further loss.