Kiwi batter Franklin seeks help from tail-enders

Published: Saturday, April 29, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Cape Town:New Zealand's James Franklin hopes he will not run out of partners as he aims to score a maiden century in the second Test against South Africa.

Franklin needs to score seven more runs to reach three figures tomorrow but with only two wickets in hand, he will have to rely on the patience of his tail-end partners.

''It's inevitable that I'll think about it but it's a case of going through the same routines and rocking up tomorrow to take each ball as it comes and, hopefully, each run as it comes,'' said Franklin.

Today he scored a career-best 93 in an eighth-wicket stand of 256 with captain Stephen Fleming. The partnership was a record stand against South Africa for any wicket.

The duo helped the visitors to gain control of the Test after they reached 535 for eight at the close of play.

With Fleming dismissed for 262 with the final delivery on the second day, Franklin needs debutant Jeetan Patel and Chris Martin to ensure New Zealand's innings does not end too early.

Patel has a highest first-class score of 58 not out.

''Jeetan's no slouch with the bat,'' Franklin said.

''Hopefully, we can get something going and get a few more runs on the board. I'll try and establish a partnership with Jeetan and take it from there.'' He also believes New Zealand can level the series at 1-1.

''There's still three days to play, and we have a reasonable seam attack and a world class spinner in Daniel (Vettori).'' South Africa coach Mickey Arthur hopes his team's missed opportunities -- Fleming and Franklin were given let-offs -- will not cost them the match.

''We were disappointed that the game drifted but we toiled long and hard,'' Arthur said.

''Another missed opportunity has put us on the back foot, we've borne the brunt of another dropped catch.

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