Maharaj strikes well to keep Proteas in contention against Black Caps after day three

BY MARC JACOBSON - MARCH 10, 2017
Maharaj strikes well to keep Proteas in contention against Black Caps after day three

Day three of the first Test between South Africa and New Zealand at the University Oval in Dunedin appeared to neutralise all such prospects for a decisive outcome, as the two sides remain in relative headlock for acceleration above one another.

The Black Caps stood on 177/3 at the end of day two, and looked to accomplish a stern lead in their quest, but Keshav Maharaj’s fine five-wicket haul with 5/94 figures restricted the New Zealanders to 341 all out – taking the lead by just 33 runs.

The Proteas did well in their efforts on a wicket much-advantageous to the Black Caps to impede on the home side only scoring 164 runs for the loss of seven wickets on day three.

Maharaj took the last-say three wickets, one of them being BJ Watling who was looking in fine tune scoring 50 before his dismissal. Producing the highest strike-rate of all the batsmen so far, Neil Wagner was also dismissed by Maharaj in their very last wicket, with a score of 32 off 32 balls.

Leading from the front on day two, Kane Williamson looked to continue piling on the runs and did so scoring an additional 52 runs on day three, before being picked off with an exceptional swing-bounce delivery from Kagiso Rabada that saw the Black Caps’ Captain edge the ball to Quinton de Kock for a catch. Williamson scored 130.

Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel each took two wickets apiece with 2/67 and 2/62 figures respectively.

South Africa then took to the crease for the 18 overs left of the day and had already seen a duck in the first over at the disposal of Stephen Cook. Dean Elgar, who scored 140 in the first innings, then continued in batting tandem with Hashim Amla, for the two to facilitate a decent foundation – putting 38/1 on the scoreboard for the Proteas at the close-of-play.

Amla currently has 23 not out with four fours, and Elgar, batting patiently, has a boundaryless 12 not out, as the Proteas take a mere five-run lead.

Image: Keshav Maharaj celebrating a wicket.