Skipper rampant at Newlands

Stephen Fleming dominated the second day of the second Test at Newlands with a masterful double-hundred for the BLACKCAPS against South Africa.

The captain enjoyed a national record eighth-wicket partnership of 256 with State Wellington Firebirds colleague James Franklin, who moved within seven runs of a first Test century as the total reached 535 for eight at stumps.

The all-rounder’s contribution was vital, but a virtuoso innings of 262 by the veteran New Zealander provided a fine riposte after the first Test defeat in Centurion.

It was a record-breaking display. It made him the first New Zealander to score three double-hundreds in Tests, his second highest-ever Test score, the highest individual Test innings by a touring batsman in South Africa, and the fourth-highest ever by a BLACKCAP.

He was eventually levered from the crease, after 423 balls in almost five-and-a-half hours, by part-time bowler Ashwell Prince, Fleming slicing the spinner on to his wicket.

Fleming and Franklin made Graeme Smith rue his decision to insert the tourists on Thursday morning - the first Test captain to do so at the ground since 1927.

After an hour-long delay for fog, the BLACKCAPS resumed on 265 for six.

Fourteen runs were added, before Ntini, going around the wicket and armed with the new ball, saw for Daniel Vettori.

The vice-captain made 11, his last tally a crashing four through mid-on, before an attempted repeat off Ntini was top-edged to Andre Nel.

Franklin was welcomed to the crease by Makhaya Ntini and was the latest BLACKCAP to receive the punishment dished out by Proteas firebrand.

The left-hander receiving a blow to the back of the head from a short-pitched delivery from the prolific pace man.

South Africa were left rueing some poor fielding as Fleming broke 200 and the BLACKCAPS extended their total.

After being dropped by Boeta Dippenaar in the first over after lunch, the New Zealand captain was able to move onto 207, with James Franklin offering fine support with an unbeaten 46 at the other end.

A mis-timed drive off Dale Steyn was clipped to Boeta Dippenaar, who was flat-footed and could not grasp the golden opportunity.

Then, Franklin was let off the hook when Jacques Kallis put down a difficult chance driving low to his left off Ntini.

Fleming went on to dictate the afternoon session. He moved to 149 with an stylish on-drive, then cut Steyn backward of square for four the following ball to bring up his fifth 150 in Tests.

Records began to tumble as Fleming surpassed the highest score by a BLACKCAPS against South Africa, beating 170 from Scott Styris in 2004.

Fleming brought up his double ton with a pull shot off Nel, and he and Franklin took the total to 427 for seven.

The duo ploughed on after tea, and Fleming completed his 250 with a six carried over the boundary rope by Nicky Boje.

Fleming was eventually removed, and Smith took the opportunity to take the light when offered, leaving Franklin with an anxious night in the 90s.

However, it could take little of the shine off the day‘s achievements, and one of the BLACKCAPS’ greatest-ever innings.

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