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Kallis fails to equal Bradman's record

South Africa 296 & 277 for 6,

New Zealand 595

AUCKLAND, MARCH 21. South Africa's Jacques Kallis failed in his quest for Don Bradman's record of six centuries in consecutive Tests when he was dismissed for 71 on Sunday on the fourth day of the second cricket Test against New Zealand.

Kallis reached his 28th half century in Tests as South Africa worked to erase New Zealand's 299-run first innings lead but the century he needed to emulate Bradman went to his batting partner, Jacques Rudolph.

Rudolph was 121 not out and South Africa was 277 for six at stumps, still 22 runs in deficit and struggling after New Zealand's bowling hero Chris Martin prompted a major middle-order collapse.

Kallis and Rudolph had seen South Africa to 249 for two and within 50 runs of parity with New Zealand by the middle of the final session on a day that had largely belonged to South Africa. Rudolph's third Test century and half centuries to Kallis and Herschelle Gibbs had enabled South Africa to make relatively light of what should have been a burdensome deficit.

But Martin, who took six wickets in the first innings and dismissed South African Graeme Smith with the first ball of the second, snatched three late wickets to substantially turn the match.

After Craig McMillan had removed Kallis lbw, Martin contributed the wickets of Gary Kirsten, Neil McKenzie and Mark Boucher in quick succession to pitch the tourists to 272 for six.

Kirsten fell lbw scoring only one run in each innings of his 100th Test. McKenzie fell next ball, stretching forward and scooping a delivery to Michael Papps who leapt high to make the catch at midwicket. Three wickets had fallen for one run from nine balls.

Martin was unable to cap a fairytale match with a hat-trick but he gave New Zealand another prize in its hunt for outright victory when he removed Mark Boucher before stumps. Boucher was caught at first slip by Stephen Fleming for 10. Rudolph and Shaun Pollock, who was 5 not out at the close, saw the tourists to stumps without further loss.

``It was always going to be one of those days when attrition was going to be a factor,'' said New Zealand captain Fleming. "We just planned to hang in there and we got the break with Golden Arm (Martin).''

Martin, playing his first Test in two years, finished the fourth day with four for 71 to go with his first innings haul of six for 76 to fill a match bag of 10 for 147.

Kallis' innings carried him past 1,000 runs in six Test matches, but the century that would have equalled Bradman's 66-year-old record narrowly eluded him. When he was out, after batting 160 minutes and hitting 11 fours and a six, he had compiled 1,065 runs in his last six Tests.

After making 712 runs in four Tests against the West Indies in December and January, Kallis scored 92 and 150 not out in the drawn first Test at Hamilton and 40 and 71 in the current match.

His run began at Johannesburg where he scored 158 and 44, continued at Durban with a single innings of 177, at Cape Town where he scored 73 and 130 not out and at Pretoria where he was again unbeaten on 130.

His innings in New Zealand of 92, 150 not out, 40 and 71 left him with an average through 10 innings, with three not outs, of 152.

Bradman achieved the record in an 18-month period between 1936 and 1938 and in six Tests, all against England. During that period he scored more than 1,100 runs in 11 innings with two double centuries, at an average of 120.

AP

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