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Ken Borland

Proteas roar to victory & sweet revenge

Posted on April 04, 2022 by Ken

South Africa roared to victory by 198 runs in the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch on Tuesday, gaining sweet revenge for their hammering in the first Test as they maintained their amazing record of having never lost a series to the Black Caps.

New Zealand began the final day on 94/4, having been set a near-impossible target of 426, which would have required a world-record chase. A more reasonable target for them was to bat out the 90 overs for a draw and a history-making 1-0 series win.

And overnight batsmen Devon Conway and Tom Blundell frustrated the Proteas for the first 96 minutes as they took their dogged partnership to 85. But paceman Lutho Sipamla, in the middle of a tight spell, then fired in an excellent yorker which trapped Conway lbw for 92.

The South African born left-hander showed great determination in batting for four-and-a-half hours, facing 188 balls as he narrowly missed out on his fourth century in his seventh Test.

The Proteas then piled on the pressure with relentless aggression, with fiery left-armer Marco Jansen removing Blundell for 44, Colin de Grandhomme for 18 as Wiaan Mulder took a scorching catch at short fine-leg, and Kyle Jamieson for 12.

Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj did not add to the two wickets he took on the fourth day, but with his posse of close-in fielders in fine semantic form, he kept the pressure on from the other end.

With spots of drizzle meaning there was some urgency required to wrap up the innings, Kagiso Rabada returned to dismiss Tim Southee (17), Sipamla handling a skyer extremely well, as Rabada himself had done in catching Jamieson.

But Neil Wagner (10*) and Matt Henry (0) surivived for 52 balls against a lot of short-pitched bowling, with the drizzle then getting heavy enough to force the players from the field at 3.18pm, with an early tea being taken.

Maharaj ensured the anxiety did not last for much longer though as, with the ninth ball after the break, he slid an arm-ball into Henry’s front pad and trapped him lbw to finish with 3/75 in 31.5 overs.

Rabada added 3/46 in 19 overs to his five-wicket haul in the first innings, while Jansen claimed 3/63 in 23 overs.

After all the harsh words thrown at the Proteas after the dismal first Test, they have once again proven their remarkable resilience. There is clearly something very good going on in their changeroom.

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