HomeSportCricketNZ must take chances in 3rd Test - Taylor

NZ must take chances in 3rd Test – Taylor

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WELLINGTON — New Zealand’s nine-wicket loss to South Africa in the second Test was a closer match than the result suggests and the hosts’ captain Ross Taylor believes his team are not far away from being competitive in the third Test in Wellington.

South Africa took a 1-0 lead in the series on the back of the victory at Seddon Park in Hamilton, which was cemented through superb fast bowling from their pace trio of Vernon Philander, who took 10 wickets, Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel.

“The score reflected that we got pretty much thrashed . . . but it was actually a lot closer than people give it credit for,” Taylor told reporters yesterday.

“We did have our moments in that game and if a couple of bounces of the ball went our way then it could have been a different story.
“We know that we’re not far away from competing with this team. We’ve been on top in a few situations, we just haven’t been able to ram it home.”

New Zealand had their moments in the second Test.
Taylor and Brendon McCullum had batted them into a strong position on day one and Mark Gillespie tore through the Proteas’ batting on day two, but the hosts failed to capitalise.

Philander and Steyn took five wickets for no runs to ruin Taylor and McCullum’s start, while South Africa’s tail wagged furiously, contributing 165 runs for the final four wickets.

The key to winning the final Test in Wellington, which starts today, was someone scoring a big century and being backed up by two or three others, Taylor said.

“In Test cricket . . . three or four guys need to step up. I wouldn’t put it down to one individual,” Taylor said. “I think three or four very good individual performances will put us into this game.”

South Africa captain Graeme Smith agreed the efforts of his bowlers in the second Test had helped them to victory and his message to them for the final match at the Basin Reserve would be to build on their performances.

“The guys have shown great discipline,” Smith said. “It’s a sign of maturity in the way that they are thinking and the way that they are executing their plans.

“There has also been great aggression thrown in there. I don’t think it will be any different this game (and) you’ve got to build on that.”

The notoriously fickle Wellington weather is expected to be a factor, with rain forecast for each of the first four days of the match. — Reuters

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