Black Caps, Proteas on equal foot­ing

New Straits Times - - Sport -

The first cricket Test be­tween New Zealand and South Africa was evenly poised af­ter an event­ful sec­ond day yes­ter­day.

When stumps were drawn, New Zealand were 177-3, trail­ing South Africa by 131 runs af­ter the tourists were bowled out for 308 fol­low­ing a lower or­der bat­ting col­lapse.

New Zealand cap­tain Kane Wil­liamson was 78 not out at the close, hav­ing shared a 102-run sec­ond wicket part­ner­ship with Jeet Raval (52), then a tense fourth wicket stand with night­watch­man Jee­tan Pa­tel (9 not out).

The Proteas started the day in a strong po­si­tion at 229-4, with Dean El­gar un­beaten on 128 and Temba Bavuma on 38, but lost their last six wick­ets for just 56 runs to be dis­missed for 308 shortly af­ter lunch at Univer­sity Oval.

El­gar posted his high­est Test score of 140 and Bavuma made 64 be­fore Trent Boult (4-64) and Neil Wag­ner (3-88) com­bined to mop up the tail.

El­gar added 12 runs in 50 min­utes to his overnight score of 128, pass­ing his pre­vi­ous Test best of 129, be­fore fall­ing to his for­mer school­boy ri­val Wag­ner.

“It was hard graft this morn­ing and ob­vi­ously we got a few re­wards for it later on,” Wag­ner said.. “It was harder graft again over the bat and ob­vi­ously good cricket all round.

“I thought South Africa bat­ted well yes­ter­day and bat­ted well this morn­ing again, but as bowlers, we stuck at it and kept fight­ing. Fi­nally we got a cou­ple of break­throughs and things started hap­pen­ing for us.”

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