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Ken Borland

Erwee enjoys the view at the top with a maiden Test century

Posted on March 29, 2022 by Ken

Thirty-two year old opener Sarel Erwee has worked very hard to get to the top of the cricket pile and the left-hander made sure he enjoyed the view on Friday as he notched his maiden Test century to give South Africa the advantage after the first day of the second Test against New Zealand at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Erwee, playing in just his second Test, showed great maturity and shot-selection as he scored 108 to lead the Proteas to a rock-solid 238/3 at stumps.

South Africa were batting first having made a surprise decision at the toss, but captain Dean Elgar’s hunch that the pitch did not look as green as the one for the first Test, proved spot-on.

Elgar and Erwee were impressively watchful but positive in their intent whether defending or attacking as they backed up the brave decision at the toss with a wonderful opening stand that took the Proteas to 80/0 at lunch.

New Zealand eventually made their first breakthrough half-an-hour after lunch when Elgar, having scored a tenacious 41, was beaten and bowled all-ends-up by a superb Tim Southee delivery that was angled into the left-hander before nipping away to hit the top of off-stump.

Erwee batted on, however, going to his century in the over before tea, having stroked 13 fours in 188 balls. His driving through the covers and straight, and his clips off his pads, were particularly pleasing on the eye.

Aiden Markram, his Test career in flux, dug himself in carefully, building a vital second-wicket stand of 88 with Erwee. The Test rookie showed great composure through the ebbs and flows of his innings, as did Markram as they rode out a particularly testing period before tea when the Black Caps bowled five consecutive maiden overs.

Markram was just starting to shift gears and had played a number of fine attacking strokes to boost his score to 42 when he suffered a lapse in concentration, driving at a full, wide delivery from left-armer Neil Wagner and edging into the slips.

It ended a highly promising innings, plus New Zealand managed to add the wicket of Erwee in the next over, being caught behind off Matt Henry.

The two quick strikes led to a lift in intensity from the bowlers and Temba Bavuma survived a couple of edges through the slips and Rassie van der Dussen was dropped on 7 at midwicket by Will Young off Henry.

But they were both there at the end, ready to resume on the second day with Van der Dussen on 13 and Bavuma having added 22.

Given what transpired in the first Test, the opening day of the second Test was a massive positive for South Africa.

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