Third Test Match

South Africa v New Zealand, 2000-01

At Johannesburg, December 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Drawn. Toss: South Africa. Test debuts: M. Ngam; H. J. H. Marshall.
Rain and then the waterlogged outfield prevented any play on the first, third and fourth days; on the other two, South Africa confirmed their supremacy. In the absence of the injured Donald, they gave a debut to Mfuneko Ngam, while New Zealand made two changes, introducing Hamish Marshall and bringing back the inconsistent Tuffey for Walmsley, who had replaced him at Port Elizabeth for his third Test in almost six years.

Ngam should have had a wicket in his first over. Cullinan, at slip, dropped makeshift opener Parore, and in Ngam's third over did it again. Dippenaar, at short leg, also gave each opener a life - Richardson when 18 - and New Zealand could count their good fortune when they lunched at 83 for one. They were unable to capitalise on it. Five wickets fell for 38 runs in the second session, starting with the dismissals of Richardson - Ngam's first victim, at last - and Sinclair immediately after the resumption. The increasingly impressive Ntini had Fleming and Astle in successive overs and only newcomer Marshall survived the middle-order débâcle, if not without alarms. He was an hour and 38 balls over opening his Test account and was struck on the helmet more than once, but without his three-hour struggle New Zealand could not have reached 200.

South Africa lost Kirsten, caught at short leg, two balls before bad light sent the players off. When play resumed three days later, however, there were no easy pickings for the New Zealand bowlers. With Herschelle Gibbs's rehabilitation imminent, Dippenaar took advantage of the "dead" day to try to establish a Test place, putting together his maiden Test hundred from 192 balls with 21 fours. As if the pointlessness of the proceedings needed accentuating, Kallis hung around after their century partnership to finish 79 not out from 211 balls; Cullinan faced 112 for his unbeaten 31. In the circumstances, it was not surprising that the match award cheque went, not to a player, but to Wanderers groundsman Chris Scott and his staff.

Men of the Match: C. Scott and groundstaff.
Man of the Series: M. Ntini.

© John Wisden & Co