South Africa close on New Zealand total

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CENTURION, South Africa, Nov 17 (Reuters) Hashim Amla and Jacques Kallis anchored South Africa's steady reply after the hosts had lost a pair of early wickets in the second test against New Zealand today.

South Africa reached lunch on 103 for two on the second day in reply to New Zealand's first innings total of 188 with both Amla and Kallis on 36 not out at the interval, sharing an unbroken third wicket stand of 72.

New Zealand had resumed on 187-8 but were dismissed just four balls into the first over of play when Chris Martin edged a delivery from paceman Makhaya Ntini and was caught by Kallis at second slip without scoring.

Martin's wicket ended New Zealand's innings with opener Craig Cumming, who retired hurt on 48 yesterday and spent the night in intensive care with a fractured cheekbone and jaw after being felled by a bouncer from fast bowler Dale Steyn, unable to continue his innings.

Medium pacer Martin returned to remove openers Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs by the ninth over of South Africa's reply.

Smith was dismissed with the last ball of the first over, which he chopped onto his stumps to be bowled for two.

Martin (2-27) then bowled Gibbs for 25 with a delivery that moved sharply off the seam towards the right-hander.

Reduced to 31-2, South Africa fought back through Amla and Kallis, who scored steadily and took few risks.

REUTERS SSC BD1710

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