The first test was determined by the events of days three and five; the double century stand between Smith and Kallis shifted the game from a low-scoring shootout between Martin and Philander into a race against the rain for South Africa. The rain comprehensively won on day 5, ruining what had looked like an intriguing day, as McCullum and Taylor were well set.
South Africa will be mostly pleased with the game, with both Smith and Rudolph - the two weakest links - scoring a fifty and a century. They might be a little concerned by the threat shown by their bowlers in reasonably helpful conditions. Philander continues his great first year of cricket, but Steyn looked out o rhythm taking only two wickets.
New Zealand will be pleased with the draw, having let the game slip on that third day, despite achieving a small lead. They ought to have put up a big lead; most of their batsmen got starts, but noone scored a fifty. If they continue to get starts they'll be confident of puting up a competitive total; but the opposite is just as likely, and the South African batting showed its teeth in Dunedin.
As always, rain could be a factor. The forecast is reasonable for the first few days, but mixed for the last two. A result is likely.
Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don't play each other.
Idle Summers 15th March, 2012 07:37:06 [#]