SA tour :MacKenzie and Harris make hay

Published: Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 23:17 [IST]
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Taunton: South Africa opener Neil McKenzie rediscovered his batting touch and Paul Harris claimed his first-half century for his country as the Proteas' three-day match against Somerset ended in a draw here on Tuesday.

McKenzie had gone for a golden duck at the hands of Somerset's former England bowler Andy Caddick in the opening innings.

But he bounced back with 63 from 109 balls including seven fours in his second attempt while Harris struck an unbeaten 50 off just 48 balls to surpass his previous best score of 46 against Pakistan in the Lahore Test in October 2007.

South Africa's stand-in skipper Ashwell Prince declared shortly after Harris reached his half-century on 215 for six to leave Somerset a nominal target of 482 in a minimum of 46 overs.

By the time play was halted at 1600 GMT, they had reached 115 for three off 34 overs with Morne Morkel, Andre Nel and Harris collecting a wicket apiece.

It was a satisfactory start for the tourists with only wicketkeeper Mark Boucher of the top-line batsmen failing to get among the runs.

On the bowling front Morkel gave glimpses of his pace, Andre Nel bowled consistently throughout and Makhaya Ntini and Harris improved in the truncated Somerset second innings.

Coach Micky Arthur expects injured captain Graeme Smith to have recovered from a hamstring problem in time to face Middlesex at Uxbridge in a three-day game starting on Friday.

Boucher fell for just seven in the third over the day when he played across a Steffan Jones delivery that cut back into him and took his off stump.

His replacement AB De Villiers produced some fine drives but also rode his luck in making 48, slicing an attempted pull over the head of wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter on 20 before being dropped by Caddick off the bowling of spinner Michael Munday on 37.

De Villiers' luck ran out when he clipped Arul Suppiah straight to Mark Turner at short cover. McKenzie's innings ended in the following over when he directed a full-toss from Munday into the hands of De Bruyn at deep backward square.

Brief Scores:

South Africa 515/3 decl and 215/6 decl (McKenzie 63, Paul Harris 50 n o, AB de Villiers 48; Suppiah 2/54, de Bruyn 1/24, Jones 1/10) drew with Somerset 249 and 115/3 (Suppiah 41, Durston 32 n o; Harris 1/19, Nel 1/6, Morkel 1/42).


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