New Zealand stumble in search of big target

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JOHANNESBURG, Nov 10 (Reuters) Centuries by Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis enabled South Africa to set New Zealand a towering target of 531 runs for victory on the third day of the first test today.

New Zealand limped to the close on 57-3 after South Africa declared their second innings on 422 for three. Scott Styris was 16 not out with Brendon McCullum on 11 for the visitors.

Kallis made 186 and became the eighth player to score 9,000 test runs while Amla was unbeaten on a career-best 176, including 24 fours.

Their third-wicket partnership of 330 was the biggest for South Africa in tests against New Zealand, surpassing the 183 from Gary Kirsten and Daryll Cullinan in Auckland in 1998-99.

South Africa resumed on 179-2, and Amla and Kallis added 108 runs in the wicketless morning session.

New Zealand squandered a chance to dismiss Kallis for 108 when substitute fielder Michael Mason at mid-off dropped a catch off the bowling of left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori.

An hour after lunch, Kallis played a tired drive to a delivery from medium pacer Jacob Oram and was caught behind by wicketkeeper McCullum. He faced 262 balls and hit 25 fours and three sixes.

New Zealand slipped to 39-3 in the first 10 overs of their second innings with Craig Cumming, Stephen Fleming and Ross Taylor all falling to slip catches.

Fast bowler Dale Steyn had Cumming caught at first slip by Graeme Smith for seven before the South Africa captain held another, lower chance to remove Fleming for 17 off Andre Nel.

Nel struck again two balls later when Taylor (four) edged to Kallis at second slip.

REUTERS AB RAI2227

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