Recent Match Report – South Africa vs New Zealand 2nd Test 2021/22


Devon Conway fought for New Zealand with 92, but the hosts lost 6 for 61 on the final day

South Africa 364 (Erwee 108, Wagner 4-102, Henry 3-90) and 354 for 9 dec (Verreynne 136*, Rabada 47, Henry 2-81) beat New Zealand 293 (de Grandhomme 120*, Rabada 5-60, Jansen 4-98) and 227 (Conway 92, Rabada 3-46, Jansen 3-63) by 198 runs

South Africa maintained their unbeaten series record over New Zealand, levelled the two-match series 1-1 and became the first team to win a match at the Hagley Oval after choosing to bat first. They set New Zealand a target of 426 and bowled them out for 227 to stage a remarkable comeback after losing the first match by an innings and 276 runs, their second-biggest defeat ever.

New Zealand lost 6 for 61 in uncharacteristically careless fashion on the final day and were dismissed nine balls after an early tea was taken, with rain in the air. On a pitch that had something in it for the quicks throughout the five days, Kagiso Rabada finished with eight wickets in the match, including his 11th career five-for and Marco Jansen with seven, while Keshav Maharaj, the only spinner playing across both XIs, took a decisive 3 for 75 in New Zealand’s second innings.

And despite the spinner coming into play, conditions also remained good for run-scoring until the end, but New Zealand had too many to score to secure a first series win over South Africa.

Devon Conway and Tom Blundell started the morning positively with 33 runs in the first eight overs of the day. Conway, dropped on 5 on the fourth day before resuming on 60 overnight, dabbed Rabada wide of gully for four, before Blundell hit boundaries off back-of-a-length and full Jansen deliveries. South Africa went to their default, the short ball, and Conway pulled Rabada while Blundell tucked Jansen away fine.

Wiaan Mulder’s introduction dried up the boundaries. He and Rabada bowled six overs in tandem without New Zealand breaching the rope before Blundell got one away when he ran Mulder down to third man. Once pressure had been created, Maharaj was brought on, and almost had an immediate reward. He thought he had Conway out lbw when the batter missed a reverse-sweep and Elgar reviewed for lbw, but the bounce in the surface meant the ball was going over the stumps.

It was up to the least experienced member of South Africa’s attack, Lutho Sipamla, to get the breakthrough. In his 12th over of the innings and wicketless up to that point, Sipamla bowled a full delivery that beat Conway’s attempted flick and struck him in line with leg stump. He was given out on-field and reviewed, but ball-tracking showed Sipamla would have gone on to hit leg stump, and Conway’s innings came to an end – eight short of a potentially fourth Test century.

The wicket was reward for Sipamla’s lengths, which were fuller than the rest of the attack’s, and almost brought another in the same over. He had an appeal against first-innings centurion Colin de Grandhomme with a delivery that angled in from wide of the crease, but Elgar chose not to review. Replays showed it was the right decision and that chance was missing.

Blundell and de Grandhomme took New Zealand to lunch but neither seemed to have any intent to stick around longer than that. In the second over after the break, de Grandhomme swept Maharaj and got a leading edge that went skyward. Rassie van der Dussen ran back from short fine leg and got to the ball but dropped it.

In the next over, Blundell half-heartedly pulled Jansen without much power and Temba Bavuma took the catch at midwicket. De Grandhomme did not heed that as a warning to tone down the aggression and also went for a pull off Jansen despite a stacked leg-side field, and was caught by Mulder at leg-gully.

With New Zealand at 188 for 7, South Africa could see victory but had to wait six overs until the second new ball was due to get closer to it. It brought an immediate opportunity when Kyle Jamieson lobbed Jansen to silly mid-off, but with three fielders closing in on the chance and no-one claiming it, the opportunity from Jamieson was eventually missed. Two balls later, Jamieson also fell to an attacking shot when he smacked Jansen to deep backward square where Rabada took the catch.

Tim Southee chanced his luck with a pull over leg gully and an inside-edge off Maharaj that just evaded his stumps, but then backed away for a big shot and lobbed Rabada to Sipamla at midwicket. Neil Wagner survived two reviews – once when he took evasive action to avoid a Jansen short ball which South Africa suspected he may have gloved and then when he ducked into a Rabada delivery that hit his shoulder. South Africa continued to pepper Wagner with short balls as a light drizzle turned into a heavy shower with the visitors one wicket away.

Tea was taken as rain fell but covers came off after the break and play resumed. Maharaj took the final wicket with the penultimate ball of his first post-tea over with a delivery that went straight on and struck Matt Henry low on the front. He reviewed even as South Africa celebrated and ball tracking confirmed his dismissal.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Call Us