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Wellington washout continues as only 37 overs possible on Day 2

Alviro Petersen and JP Duminy batted throughout a truncated second day to strengthen the Proteas' position in the third Test match against the New Zealand Black Caps at Wellington on Saturday. Petersen suffered the frustration of being left stranded on 96 not out – just four runs short of his third Test century – when the umpires took the players off for bad light. This was on a day on which the first session had again been lost to heavy rain. The Proteas closed the day on 246/2 with Petersen (96 off 224 balls, 12 fours and a six) and Duminy (76 off 140 balls, 9 fours) having posted an unbroken partnership of 140 for the third wicket in 45 overs.

A total of only 79 overs have been bowled over the two days which means that the two batsmen will face a testing time when play resumes with the second new ball only one over away.


Philander bowls South Africa to victory in 2nd Test

South Africa romped to a 9-wicket win on just day 3 of the second test against New Zealand on Saturday. Resuming from their overnight score of 65/4, the Black Caps were bowled out for just 168 with Vernon Philander routing the lower order. The Proteas were left a minimal target of 100 runs for victory and Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla knocked off the target in less than 20 overs after the early loss of Alviro Petersen.

Jacques Kallis made the initial breakthrough to remove Daniel Vettori for 21 and then Vernon Philander swept away the rest of New Zealand's resistance like a pedigree racehorse to send the Black Caps crashing. Philander, named Man of the Match for his match analysis of 10/114 including a career best 6/44 in the second innings, continued the extraordinary start to his Test career that has now seen him take 45 wickets in 6 matches. Another five wickets in the third Test, starting in Wellington on Friday, will put him into joint second place on the all-time list of the bowlers who have taken their first 50 wickets in the smallest number of Test matches.


England confirmed as number-one ranked Test side

England has secured top spot in the Reliance ICC Test Championship table at the 1 April cut-off date, after the first Test between New Zealand and South Africa ended in a draw in Dunedin on Sunday. This is the first time, since the current rankings system was introduced in 2003, that England has topped the table at the cut-off date. As such, it will retain the Championship mace and will also receive a cheque of US$175,000 which is presented annually to the side that tops the table at the 1 April cut-off date.

For the next three years, a total of US$3.8m will be distributed in prize money with the side topping the table at the 1 April cut-off date in 2013 to receive a minimum of $450,000 rising to $500,000 in 2015. From 2016, there will be further increases in Test prize money.


New Zealand chase 264 to win 1st Test in Dunedin

Jacques Rudolph scored his 6th Test century, his 2nd against New Zealand and his first since 2005 to set up South Africa's bid for victory in the first Test against the New Zealand at Dunedin on Saturday. The last time the left-hander scored a century it was a match-saving effort against Australia, an occasion on which he became one of the few players to keep Shane Warne at bay in a fourth innings. This time he and his team mates will be hoping that it contributes to an important victory.

Rudolph (105 not out, 182 balls, 15 fours and a six) timed the runs chase perfectly, scoring his second half-century off only 35 balls. It enabled Graeme Smith to declare in mid-afternoon with a lead of exactly 400 and give his bowlers a crack at the Black Caps top order before tea.


'The WALL' bids adieu: Dravid announces his retirement from Cricket

9th March 2012 turned out to be a sad but proud day for Indian Cricket when its dire protector for the past 16 years, Rahul 'The Wall' Dravid called a press conference at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore and announced retirement from International Test Cricket and domestic first class cricket sharing that "It is time to move on".

Announcing this, he became the first of three remaining veterans (Sachin, Laxman & Dravid himself) to quit the field and give way to new blood. However, Dravid will continue to feature in the IPL and will captain Rajasthan Royals in the upcoming season.


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