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Mills takes four wickets as S.Africa struggle

Written by: Staff

CENTURION, South Africa, April 15 (Reuters) New Zealand medium-pacer Kyle Mills took four wickets to reduce South Africa to 266 for eight on the opening day of the first test today.

Mills maintained a tight line and extracted bounce to take a career-best four for 43. Left-arm paceman James Franklin captured three for 67, after South Africa won the toss.

Captain Stephen Fleming became the first New Zealander to reach 100 test caps while Kallis and Pollock joined the retired Gary Kirsten as the only South Africans to reach the milestone.

Mills first struck in the fifth over when Herschelle Gibbs, on six, played an insipid stroke to an inswinger and edged the ball on to his middle stump.

Captain Graeme Smith, returning to action after missing the third test against Australia with a finger injury, and Boeta Dippenaar scored steadily and took the home side to lunch without further drama.

Franklin took his first wicket in the third over after lunch by trapping Smith in front for 45 to end the second-wicket stand at 79.

Six overs later Dippenaar reached 50 with a straight drive for four off Mills. Dippenaar attempted to hook Mills' next ball, a shorter delivery, and spooned a catch to James Fulton at short midwicket to be out for 52.

Mills reduced South Africa to 130 for four before tea when Ashwell Prince (9) steered a head-high catch to Scott Styris at second slip.

Jacques Kallis scored 38 before being flummoxed by a slow, swinging yorker from Franklin that bowled him in the fifth over after tea.

Franklin struck again six overs later when he angled a delivery across AB de Villiers, who played down the wrong line and was bowled for 27.

Mark Boucher (18) edged a delivery from medium pacer Chris Martin to third slip, where Nathan Astle palmed the ball upward for Stephen Fleming to complete the catch.

Shaun Pollock clipped four fours in his 24 before edging a delivery from Mills to Styris at second slip. Nicky Boje was 20 not out at stumps Mills' previous career-best figures were the three for 29 he took in the second test against the West Indies in Wellington this season.

New Zealand's medium-pacers ensured the absence of express bowler Shane Bond, who was forced out of the match with a knee injury, was hardly felt.


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