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South Africa vs New Zealand

Match info: South Africa v New Zealand Test Series 2013 at Newlands - 1st Test

Date: 4th Jan 2013 Status: Day 3 of 5 Umpires: I J Gould and R J Tucker

Home team and score Away team score

South Africa

347/8 Dec (95.2 Overs)

Result

New Zealand

45 All out (19.2 Overs)
275 All out (102.1 Overs)

South Africa win by an innings and 27 runs

  • Last Updated: January 2 2013, 15:32 GMT

We run the rule over the venue for the series opener in Cape Town, a fortress for South Africa.

Established: 1845
Capacity: 25,000
Head groundsman: Evan Flint
Floodlights: Yes
Ends: Wynberg End, Kelvin Grove End
Home Team: Cape Cobras
Test History: 48 Tests; 19 home wins; 19 away wins; 10 draws
Last 10 Tests: 6 home wins; 1 away win; 3 draws
Last 10 Tosses: 4 batted first (4 losses); 6 bowled first (2 wins, 1 loss, 3 draws)

Overview
It could be the location, or perhaps the backdrop of Table Mountain. Maybe it's the oak trees or the brewery next door, but Newlands has that something special.

It might also just be that Cape Town and in particular the New Year's Test delivers the most reliable and excitable crowds in South Africa.

Added to the spectator-friendly environment is the sporting nature of the pitch, which has seen just five drawn Tests in 24 matches since readmission. Newlands has also been something of a fortress for South Africa in that time - the only side to beat them here since 1993 is Australia, although they have done it three times.

The ground hosted its first Test match in March 1889, when England defeated South Africa by an innings and 202 runs. References to 'The New Lands' date back to early colonial maps in 1656 and 1661, when the Dutch settlement located at today's Cape Town city centre literally spread out into new lands, where the current suburb of Newlands is located.

While redevelopment in the 90s saw stands replace some of the grass embankments as the stadium became a 25,000-seater, fans still pack the grassy eastern side of the ground to enjoy the shade of the oaks and a splendid view of Table Mountain behind the cricket action.

Last Time Out
Sri Lanka's decision to bowl first was understandable, given the recent trend, but South Africa soon tucked into a mammoth total on the back of centuries from Alviro Petersen and AB de Villiers and a welcome double-ton from Jacques Kallis.

The hosts then fell well short of the follow-on target, with the home seamers sharing the wickets. Sri Lanka's second turn at the crease brought improvement on a less lively day three pitch.

But day four was always going to bring a big victory - for a two-one series win, as Kallis and spinner Imran Tahir took the bulk of the closing wickets.

Happy Hunting Ground
It has been his second home possibly since he could hold a bat, so one cannot really begin with anyone but Jacques Kallis, whose titanic record at Newlands shows he has played 20 Tests, amassed 2098 runs at 77.70 and taken 40 wickets at 30.10. That includes twin tons in the 2011 New Year's Test against India and a double-century against Sri Lanka earlier this year.

Graeme Smith is another batsman who enjoys spending time out in the middle, taking in the scenery, as he averages 56.78 with a record of four tons and six 50s at Newlands.

Dale Steyn sports just one five-wicket haul at Newlands, but he does have as many as 48 wickets from nine Tests at an average of 21.39, which is a good indication that although Newlands has traditionally been South Africa's spin ground, the seamers still ultimately rule. Consider also that the top two wicket-takers here are Makhaya Ntini and Shaun Pollock.

New Zealand's last visit here was in 2006, when all-rounder James Franklin scored his only Test ton to date - and spinner Jeetan Patel and wicketkeeper-batsman Brendon McCullum made up the numbers in a draw. Indeed, six years later, these three are the only survivors.

They Said
"There is no reason why we can't pick up 20 wicket. There is some uneven bounce and a couple of balls have turned already." - South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis after day three in January.

"If there are clouds on the mountain, it will nip around quite a bit. So everything really does depend on the mountain." - head groundsman Evan Flint.

"It will be about who can get stuck in on this deck and get a grip on things." - South African captain Graeme Smith.

"The South African attack doesn't give you a chance to relax at any time. Their bowlers keep giving a variety of deliveries and you have to concentrate hard which makes it difficult. All three quicks bowl differently." - New Zealand must take heed from Sri Lanka batsman Dinesh Chandimal's comments earlier this year.

Weather Forecast
Sunny and hot predicted throughout, with the chance of a cooling drizzle on day two, when cloud cover - if any - will bring a nominal overhead presence. The opening stages of the weekend, in particular, will bring higher temperatures in the region of 28 degrees Celsius.

Conclusion
Newlands has traditionally suited the spinners - thanks largely to the south-easter offering extra drift - but there's been less turn in recent years and it appears to be getting slower.

Imran Tahir and Nathan Lyon were hardly used in the November Test last year, but the spinners should have a bit more of a role to play this time around, particularly Robin Peterson's penchant for extra bounce.

Aside from the Australia Test, which saw the hosts skittled for 96 and the tourists 47, the batsmen usually notch up some decent scores here, but there should also be a good contest between bat and ball throughout the match.

Captains winning the toss generally mixed things up in the last 10 Tests played in Cape Town and a lot will depend on what the weather is doing on the opening morning.

If there is some cloud cover on the opening morning, the ball generally tends to swing a bit more than usual and whoever wins the toss is likely to have a bowl. The last five skippers to win the toss and bat first have ended up on the losing side.

The last first-class fixture here, played less than two weeks ago, brought a low first-innings score from the Titans and a high reply from the Cobras, as very a hot month saw an initially testing pitch later baked to a veritable tarmac.


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