New Zealand vs South Africa. (Photo Source: X(Twitter)
New Zealand’s dominance in the Test match against South Africa was undeniable as they clinched victory by a staggering 281 runs. The momentum was set from the first innings, where Rachin Ravindra’s remarkable double century and Kane Williamson’s century laid a formidable foundation. On Day 4, with overcast conditions challenging the batters, South Africa’s openers fell early. However, Raynard van Tonder and Zubayr Hamza showed resilience until lunch.
The post-lunch session saw both batters departing, but David Bedingham and Keegan Petersen steadied the ship with a commendable partnership. Bedingham’s aggressive play added quick runs before his dismissal post-tea. Kyle Jamieson’s four-wicket haul and Mitchell Santner’s three-wicket spell further shattered South Africa’s hopes. Chasing an ambitious target of 529, South Africa never posed a threat as New Zealand’s bowlers dominated. Jamieson’s brilliance, coupled with Santner’s efficiency, sealed the emphatic victory for New Zealand.
Here are the talking points of the match:
1. Kane Williamson’s back-to-back centuries
Kane Williamson showcased his batting prowess in both innings of the Test match. In the first innings, he scored a resilient 118 runs from 289 deliveries, punctuated by 16 boundaries. Continuing his fine form, Williamson crafted his 31st Test century in the second innings, taking 122 balls and hitting 12 boundaries. However, his stay was brief post-century, as he departed for 109 runs off 132 deliveries, falling victim to South African skipper Neil Brand’s bowling.
2. Rachin Ravindra’s double ton
On Monday, Rachin Ravindra continued his outstanding form in international cricket by smashing his first-ever double-century, propelling New Zealand to a formidable first-innings total against South Africa. Starting Day 2 with an overnight score of 118, the all-rounder surged past the 150-run mark, dominating the morning session. Ravindra’s splendid knock saw him amass 240 runs from 366 deliveries, embellished with 26 boundaries and three sixes.
Losing Captain, Neil Brand, South Africa said:
Very deflating. Felt we were in the game. Outplayed by a very good NZ team. Our patience was tested on this wicket. Back to the drawing board and hope we can compete better. Disappointing to lose a wicket after a lunch break or drinks. The dressing room is hurting a lot. Massive honour picking up 6 wickets.
Winning captain, Tim Southee, New Zealand said:
On a good surface, the batters set it up and the bowlers picked up 20 wickets. Very pleasing. We had great preparation. They compete. They are a proud nation. When you come to the Mount, it does offer that little bit more later in the Test. Pleasing to see Mitch Santner coming back into the team. We got better as the Test went on. As a group we were a bit better in the second innings. We would enjoy this one. Lot of focus will shift back to the next Test.
Player of the Match, Rachin Ravindra, New Zealand said:
Any capacity to a team victory is extremely pleasing. Happy that we got the job done. I will rate this very highly. We are all humble and just do the right things. He (Kane Williamson) has got 31 Test tons and I only have one. The beauty of this team is that as long as you are trying, you feel the belonging to the team. The coach and the management ensure that.