Ma­haraj stars in South Africa win

New Straits Times - - Sport -

WELLING­TON: Ke­shav Ma­haraj took ca­reer best fig­ures of 6-40 as South Africa romped to an eight-wicket vic­tory over New Zealand on the extended third day of the sec­ond Test yes­ter­day to take a 1-0 lead in the three­match se­ries.

Hashim Amla and JP Du­miny guided the tourists to vic­tory in an ad­di­tional 30 min­utes of play at the Basin Re­serve, the lat­ter fir­ing the bound­ary that saw the Proteas ease past the 81-run vic­tory tar­get to 83-2.

Amla fin­ished on 38 not out and the win­ning four gave Du­miny an un­beaten 15 but it was a vic­tory set up by their dis­ci­plined bowl­ing unit, who had dis­missed New Zealand for 171 in their sec­ond in­nings af­ter tea.

While Mahraj took the spoils and the man-of-the-match award, it was, how­ever, a first in­nings part­ner­ship be­tween Temba Bavuma and Quin­ton de Kock that was the match-turn­ing mo­ment.

De Kock and Bavuma com­bined for 160 runs to res­cue the Proteas on the sec­ond day, when the hosts had re­duced them to 94 for six af­ter they had scrapped to 268 in their own first in­nings.

The South African wick­et­keeper counter-at­tacked to score 91 and was ably sup­ported by Bavuma’s 89.

Their part­ner­ship tired the New Zealand at­tack out to the point where Morne Morkel and Ver­non Phi­lan­der were able to pro­duce a 57-run fi­nal wicket part­ner­ship that only ended yes­ter­day with the Proteas reaching 359 for a lead of 91.

Fast bowler Morkel then tore the top off New Zealand’s bat­ting lineup with the first three wick­ets.

Ver­non Phi­lan­der’s nag­ging line and length and Kag­iso Rabada’s pace put the hosts un­der im­mense pres­sure that al­lowed Ma­haraj to at­tack on a wicket that was as­sist­ing turn but de­liv­er­ies were not ex­plod­ing off it.

Ma­haraj in­stead just kept float­ing the ball up, vary­ing his pace and wait­ing for the im­petu­ous shots from New Zealand’s bats­men to come, which did at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals.

Jeet Raval was the only bats­man to pro­vide any re­sis­tance as he was pep­pered by Morkel’s bounc­ers and took sev­eral blows to his hands and body.

Raval, who sur­vived three chances af­ter he had passed 50, top scored with 80 be­fore his dis­missal to Ma­haraj af­ter tea sparked a slump where New Zealand lost their last five wick­ets for 16 runs. Reuters

Ke­shav Ma­haraj

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