Styris and Cairns drove New Zealand past a number of batting milestones as the hosts reached 584-8 against SA.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
Scott Styris and Chris Cairns drove New Zealand past a number of batting milestones today as the hosts reached 584-8 and built a 288-run first-innings lead on the third day of the second cricket Test against South Africa. New Zealand posted its highest score in Tests against South Africa for the second match in succession as Cairns made 158, Scott Styris 170, Jacob Oram 90 and Craig McMillan 82. The New Zealand total surpassed the record mark of 509 established in the drawn first Test at Hamilton, which stood as a national best for barely seven days. Records galore Styris' score, improved upon today after he had been 118 not out overnight, was the highest by a New Zealander against South Africa and the third-highest by a Kiwi on Eden Park. The all-rounder, who had come to the wicket when New Zealand was 12-2 and seen them to safety at 201-3 by the end of the second day, set in motion events which Cairns continued. Cairns reached his fifth Test century, his highest score in all first-class cricket, and shared a partnership of 225 with Oram for the second wicket which was a record for New Zealand against all nations. He set the tone for a day of unprecedentedly rapid scoring, one in which New Zealand scored 383 runs, including 187 between tea and stumps. Cairns achieved the feat, rare in modern cricket, of scoring a 100 runs in a session as he went from 53 at tea to 158 before falling four overs from the close of play. He followed McMillan past 3,000 runs in Test cricket and, after claiming his 199th Test wicket during South Africa's first innings of 296, stands ready to become one of a handful of players who have 3,000 runs and 200 wickets in Test play. That record belongs to the game's elite all-rounders, among them Kapil Dev of India, England's Ian Botham and New Zealander Sir Richard Hadlee. Styris, through partnerships of 125 with Mark Richardson yesterday and 148 with McMillan today, established the record-breaking trend. He reached 150 with 23 fours and two sixes early today and immediately exceeded Matthew Sinclair's record score by a New Zealander against South Africa. He saw McMillan reach his half century from 93 balls before he was caught by Shaun Pollock at slip off Nicky Boje, from the spinner's first ball of the third day. Set for win "I'm pleased with the knock but it would have been good to go on to 200," Styris said. "It was a very good day for us: 380 runs for five wickets, how often do you see that? "We've put ourselves in a good position now and if we can grab 10 wickets whenever we have to bowl tomorrow, we're in with a good chance of going 1-0 up in the series." More Cairns took his first 30 runs from only 18 balls, his first 40 from 24 and, after a short period of caution against the spinners, reached his half century from 41 deliveries. In a short but belligerent spell around that mark, he helped New Zealand take 44 from five overs from Shaun Pollock and 26 from four overs from Jacques Kallis. New Zealand had its first-innings lead early in the second session and Cairns set about making it substantial. By tea he had taken the score to 397, a lead of 101, but it was in the last session that his innings achieved its full glory. When Cairns reached 153, his total was also the highest by a New Zealander batting at No. 7 in a test. His innings ended when he mistimed a drive down the ground and was caught by Kallis from the bowling of Graeme Smith in the 140th over. (AP)