27 March 2012 /REUTERS/AP
Poor weather undoubtedly halted South Africa’s march to the top of the world test rankings after they claimed a 1-0 series win against New Zealand when the third and final test at the Basin Reserve ended in a draw on Tuesday.
Grameme Smith’s side completed the series victory courtesy of a nine-wicket win in the second test in Hamilton, with the other two matches badly affected by rain. They also won both the earlier Twenty20 and one-day international series. The Proteas did have an opportunity to clinch a 2-0 win on the final day of the third test after Morne Morkel claimed 6-23, only for Kane Williamson to graft his second test century and ensure New Zealand scratched out a battling draw. “It’s been a terrific tour for us,” Smith said of the way in which the side had managed to build on their victories in the Twenty20 and one-day international series into the tests. “Any tour where you can walk away with every trophy is a tick. There have been some great performances throughout the six-and-a-half weeks. All teams in all formats have played well, which is what you want.” South Africa had the opportunity to claim the world’s top test ranking if they swept the tests 3-0, but rain washed out the final day of play in Dunedin and more than seven hours in Wellington, something Smith rued.