Latham goes cheaply as New Zealand chase 308

Mar 10, 2017, 00:42
Latham goes cheaply as New Zealand chase 308

Williamson led a charmed life at the crease, surviving three edges and a run-out attempt to be 78 not out at stumps with New Zealand 177 for three, 131 runs behind South Africa's first innings total of 308 in Dunedin.

That started the slide‚ and South Africa were dismissed in the fifth over after lunch‚ with Trent Boult and Wagner sharing seven wickets and Jeetan Patel keeping the pressure firmly on for his return of 2/85 from 33 overs. This was his second half century in eight Test innings. Given New Zealand included two spinners in their side, the intentions of what they thought the pitch was going to do were made clear, however with only two wickets between them from 51 overs, dropping Tim Southee in hindsight probably wasn't the greatest option.

On a day of wavering fortunes, there was nothing normal about the start of the Test where even the brown-green wicket was not the customary emerald top expected in New Zealand.

SA go into the Test series after beating New Zealand 3-2 in the recent one-day worldwide series, where Rabada topped their bowling figures.

South Africa coach Russell Domingo said that while the absence of influential batsman de Villiers would be keenly felt in the Test series, they had no option but to move on.

When du Plessis won the toss he became the first captain in 23 Tests to bat first.

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Jeetan Patel (2-85) continued his success against Quinton de Kock (10) when he had him caught at backward point.

Tom Latham (10) had another failure to his name when he nicked a Vernon Philander (1-37) delivery behind the stumps in the sixth over.

Williamson batted superbly and at a fair tempo and his opening partner Jeet Patel (52) helped the side to a 102-run second-wicket partnership that swung the balance of power squarely back to the home side.

South Africa picked up a late boost when Henry Nicholls was brilliantly caught by Hashim Amla at slip off the bowling of Maharaj but there is still work to do.

New Zealand wrapped up the South African innings five overs after lunch, with the last six wickets falling for only 56 runs.

Following the first Test, the teams head to Wellington before concluding the series in Hamilton.

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