Seamers prosper in Centurion

Kyle Mills and James Franklin prospered as the BLACKCAPS enjoyed a solid start to Stephen Fleming’s 100th Test match against South Africa at Centurion.

The BLACKCAPS skipper will be happy with his side’s efforts in the opening day, responding to the loss of Shane Bond and then the toss.

But the visiting attack enjoyed the upper hand as the tourists overcame both of these setbacks, and limited the Proteas to 266 for eight from their 90 overs.

Mills (four for 34) and Franklin (3/67) led the way, with Chris Martin taking the other wicket as the hosts were reduced from 94 for one to their end of day total.

Mills took the first wicket of the series, dismissing the dangerous Herschelle Gibbs for six in only the fifth over of the innings, the right-hander playing on to his stumps.

Host captain Graeme Smith showed few signs of the finger injury which troubled his build up as he shared a half-century stand with Boeta Dippenaar to move his side to 85 for one at lunch.

The pair added another 10 after the interval before James Franklin took the opposing skipper, for 45, with a trademark lbw, trapping Smith on the back pad.

The BLACKCAPS went on to take the ascendancy in the afternoon session, claiming two more wickets at a cost of 68 runs.

Next to go was Dippenaar, who having reached his 50, added only two more runs before falling to Mills, allowing Peter Fulton a regulation catch at forward square leg.

Eleven more runs were added in eight overs before Ashwell Prince (nine) clipped Mills to Scott Styris at second slip.

Franklin was brought back into the attack in the sixth over after tea and removed Kallis, another veteran marking his 100th Test.

The all-rounder’s innings began in stubborn fashion, and he had seemed ready to cut loose.

But after dispatching Franklin for four, the left-armer extracted immediate revenge, pitching a tremendous yorker to return the ICC Cricketer of the Year back to the pavilion for 38.

Franklin soon sent AB De Villiers (27) the same way, the ball swinging from leg to off and deceiving the hometown hero.

Mark Boucher put on 18 before nudging a Martin delivery into the slips in the 82nd over. Fleming caught it expertly after some juggling in the slip cordon.

Shaun Pollock’s first innings of his 100th Test ended in similar fashion on 24, edging Mills to Styris, who caught it at the first attempt.

Tailenders Dale Steyn (20) and Nicky Boje (eight) remain unbeaten, but the BLACKCAPS can look back on a good first day.

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