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Cumming, Vincent boost New Zealand

Published: Friday, November 16, 2007, 18:50 [IST]
 
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CENTURION:
Craig Cumming and Lou Vincent shared New Zealand's first half-century partnership of the series as the Black Caps made a solid start in the second and final Test against South Africa at Centurion Park.

New Zealand were 84 for one at lunch on the first day after winning the toss and electing to bat.

Cumming (38 not out) and Vincent (33 not out) put on an unbeaten 58 for the second wicket after New Zealand lost Michael Papps, caught at gully off Makhaya Ntini, with the total on 26.

Cumming gave a sharp chance on 37 when Jacques Kallis at second slip could not hold a flying head-high edge at second slip off Dale Steyn.

But it was an otherwise sound innings by the opening batsman after New Zealand were outclassed in the first Test in Johannesburg, where South Africa won by 358 runs.

Vincent, who was a late inclusion in the side, showed a positive approach and was willing to attack the bowlers on a pitch of steep but even bounce.

South African captain Graeme Smith, who did not use left-arm spinner Paul Harris until the second innings in Johannesburg, brought Harris into the action half an hour before lunch but quickly took him off after Vincent slammed a straight six off the last ball of the slow bowler's second over.

The New Zealand team showed two injury-enforced changes.

Mark Gillespie won his first cap in place of fast bowler Shane Bond, who had to go home because of an abdominal injury, while Vincent replaced allrounder Jacob Oram, who had not fully recovered from a hamstring strain.

Yet another injury blow hit the tourists. Allrounder Kyle Mills, who joined the side as cover for Oram, was due to play but woke up with a sore back and was replaced by Vincent.

South Africa were unchanged for the fourth match in a row, following a 1-0 series win in two matches in Pakistan and their win in the first Test against the Black Caps.

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