Wellington - A
heroic century by 21-year-old Kane Williamson trumped a hostile South
African bowling attack and allowed New Zealand to hang on for a
tenacious draw in the third Test on Tuesday.
South Africa secured the
series 1-0 but were on the verge a second victory before tea after a
sensational bowling performance by Morne Morkel reduced New Zealand to
In a dramatic final session, New Zealand lost only one
further wicket as Williamson held firm in a defiant 80-run stand for the
sixth wicket with Kruger van Wyk, following that with an unbeaten
37-run partnership with Doug Bracewell.
The South African
fieldsmen grounded multiple chances helping New Zealand reach 200-6 at
the close after South African captain Graeme Smith set an imposing
Morkel ripped out the New Zealand top order to
finish with career best figures of six for 23 which won him the
man-of-the-match award over Williamson.
But Morkel and fellow
quicks Morne Steyn, Vernon Philander and Marchant de Lange had reason to
believe they could have cleaned out New Zealand had the fielding been
Williamson, batting at four in place of the injured
skipper Ross Taylor, survived a painful strike in the groin and at least
four edges behind the stumps including a low catch claimed by Alviro
Petersen at point.
Television replays showed the ball may have hit
the ground first and the decision went in favour of the batsman who at
that stage was on seven but went on to post his second century from 228
balls, spending 327 minutes at the crease.
When Morkel cleaned out
Dean Brownlie (15) and Daniel Vettori with successive yorkers, van Wyk
entered the fray and took several balls to the body as he made 39 in 100
With his dismissal and 19 overs remaining, the writing
looked on the wall for New Zealand with only tailenders Doug Bracewell,
Mark Gillespie and Chris Martin to bat.
Bracewell had scored a
duck in his previous three innings in the series but played confidently
as he supported Williamson to be 20 not out after he was dropped by de
Villiers on eight.
South Africa had resumed the day at 75 without
loss and and raced to 189-3 before declaring with de Villiers belting 68
and JP Duminy unbeaten on 33.
Morkel started his destructive
campaign in New Zealand's second over when Daniel Flynn gloved a rising
delivery through to wicketkeeper Mark Boucher to be gone without
Brendon McCullum also failed to get off the mark before
Morkel trapped him lbw and Martin Guptill edged the strike bowler to
Jacques Rudolph at gully and was gone for 18.
Brownlie faced 18
balls without scoring before launching into de Lange and taking 14 off
one over, including three boundaries, but he was to add only one more
run before Morkel struck again.
Meanwhile, Taylor, who suffered a
broken forearm when hit by Morkel on the fourth day, underwent surgery
on Tuesday and the New Zealand management said he would be sidelined for at
least four weeks.