|Philander on fire as South Africa dominate|
27 March 2012
WELLINGTON: South African pace sensation Vernon Philander became the fastest man in 116 years to reach 50 Test wickets as New Zealand struggled to stay alive in the third Test.
Philander, 26, reached the milestone in only his seventh Test as New Zealand folded for 275 in their first-innings in reply to South Africa’s 474 for nine declared, avoiding the follow-on by a single run. At stumps on the fourth day, South Africa, who hold a 1-0 lead in the three-Test series, were 75 without loss in their second-innings, leading by 274 runs with one day remaining.
First-innings centurion Alviro Petersen is not out 38 with captain Graeme Smith on 34 as the tourists look to bat New Zealand out of contention.
New Zealand’s fading hopes of levelling the series received a severe setback when captain Ross Taylor was hit on the forearm by paceman Morne Morkel. He was taken to hospital where an x-ray confirmed a broken bone and team management said he was unlikely to take any further part in the match. With Taylor out of action, Philander made the most of the short route to the New Zealand tail, finishing with six for 81 and tightening South Africa’s grip on the Test.
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