New Zealand’s pre-tour fears of embarrassment at the hands of South Africa came true on the first morning of the opening Test as the Black Caps were bowled out for 45 before lunch on Wednesday.
Vernon Philander took one of the quickest five-wicket hauls in Tests as New Zealand’s batting line-up crumbled at Newlands to its third lowest score and the joint 12th lowest total of all time. It was also the lowest score at the Cape Town venue for over 100 years, although Australia was bowled out for 47 in November 2011.
After having passed a fitness test to play, Philander had 5-4 in just 4.1 overs and the first five wickets of the New Zealand innings before ending with 5-7 off six overs after new Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum had won the toss and opted to bat first in Cape Town’s New Year Test, his first in charge of the Test team.
Morne Morkel had 3-14 and Dale Steyn passed 300 Test wickets with his 2-18, the fourth South African to reach the milestone after Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini.
Only Kane Williamson (13) made it to double figures for the under-fire tourists as New Zealand was skittled out in just 19.2 overs.
South Africa lost captain Graeme Smith in the second over of its reply just before lunch to give New Zealand a glimmer of hope of clawing back a disastrous start to the two-Test series against the top-ranked Test team in the world.
New Zealand is ranked No. 8 in Tests, above only Bangladesh, and has won just one of its last nine Tests.
Philander was the visitors’ chief destroyer on a torrid morning for batsmen as New Zealand lost its first five wickets in less than 10 overs for 27. Morkel and Steyn then chipped in with five between them as South Africa needed only its three pace bowlers to send New Zealand to its lowest Test total in over 60 years since its 42 all out against Australia in 1946.
Martin Guptill was first out for 1, caught behind off Philander. McCullum followed when he was bowled by the rampant right-arm seamer for 7. Dean Brownlie, in for former skipper Ross Taylor, was out for a duck and Williamson hit two of just five boundaries for the Black Caps in the entire innings before he fell lbw to Philander.
Philander had five wickets off just 25 deliveries when BJ Watling edged behind to wicket-keeper AB de Villiers for a duck.
Steyn reached 300 Test wickets in typical fast bowler fashion as he knocked out Bracewell’s off stump as New Zealand lost its last five wickets for 18 runs.
Facing an awful start, Bracewell did provide some hope for the Black Caps when he trapped Smith in front for 1 in the second over of the reply to have South Africa 3-1 at lunch after a frenzied first session of the series where 11 wickets fell in just over 21 overs.
Martin Guptill c de Villiers b Philander 1
Brendon McCullum b Philander 7
Kane Williamson lbw b Philander 13
Dean Brownlie c Smith b Philander 0
Daniel Flynn c and b Steyn 8
BJ Watling c de Villiers b Philander 0
James Franklin c Smith b Morkel 1
Doug Bracewell b Steyn 2
Jeetan Patel c Amla b Morkel 5
Trent Boult c de Villiers b Morkel 1
Chris Martin not out 0
Extras- (6lb, 1nb) 7
TOTAL (all out) 45
Fall of wickets- 1-7, 2-14, 3-14, 4-27, 5-27, 6-28, 7-31, 8-38, 9-45, 10-45.
Bowling- Dale Steyn 7.2-2-18-2, Vernon Philander 6-3-7-5, Morne Morkel 6-2-14-3.
Keywords: South Africa- New Zealand test