BLACKCAPS duo celebrate landmarks

James Franklin and Jeetan Patel both had reasons to celebrate the third day of the second Test between the BLACKCAPS and South Africa at Newlands.

The State Wellington Firebirds duo enjoyed a fine day, Franklin converting his overnight Test-best score of 93 into his maiden century.

Franklin, who finished 122 not out, and Patel, with an unbeaten 27, guided the side to a mammoth 593 for eight before fellow Firebird and BLACKCAPS captain Stephen Fleming declared, following his own sparkling innings of 262.

Franklin struck 14 fours and one six in 268 balls. Makhaya Ntini removed four BLACKCAPS, but for a cost of 162 runs from his 43-over shift.

Patel marked his first over at Test level with the crucial wicket of Proteas captain Graeme Smith before removing his opening partner Boeta Dippenaar.

Hashim Amla claimed his maiden Test half-century as South Africa made steady progress in their chase, reaching 122 for two off 61.5 overs before bad light curtailed the day‘s play. Jacques Kallis (25) was also at the crease.

The BLACKCAPS could feel buoyant at lunch, as South Africa were one down for their 48 at the interval, having lost their skipper.

He fell for 25 after an opening partnership of 36 with Dippenaar when he lobbed a ball straight back to Patel.

Smith’s early exit compounded his decision to insert the BLACKCAPS, which saw him become the first Test skipper since the 1920s to insert the opposition at the Cape Town venue.

He could only watch as counterpart Fleming launched a massive innings, helped chiefly by century stands with Franklin and Nathan Astle (50 of 106-run fourth-wicket stand.

Dippenaar and Amla then took the score up to 108 before the former fell for 47, bottom edging a Patel delivery when aiming a square cut.

That brought Kallis to the centre, and he and Amla added 47 against the spin of Patel, who finished the day with two wickets for runs off 20.1 overs and Daniel Vettori (0/40 off 21).

Play was halted eight overs after tea, and the BLACKCAPS will look to enforce the follow on with wickets on day four to maintain their chances of levelling the series. Play will commence at Sahara Park at 9.30am local time (7.30pm NZT).

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