Ricochet News

Proteas dig themselves deeper into an already existing hole on day four against Black Caps

By Marc Jacobson - Mar 28, 2017
Proteas dig themselves deeper into an already existing hole on day four against Black Caps

The Proteas have faded to trail by 95 runs with just five wickets in hand, behind the Black Caps’ first innings total of 489 all out in their third and final Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Tuesday early morning (SA time).

Slumping to a 175-run deficit in their first innings, South Africa got the receiving end of batting finesse, as New Zealand projected their monstrous total, built on Kane Williamson’s best and any Black Caps’ player best against the Proteas, of 176.

Enrooting New Zealand’s fine total early on was the solidified 190-run partnership between Williamson and Jeet Raval with Raval scoring a styling 88.

Opener, Tom Latham also batted well, scoring 50 and opened diligently with Raval in the initial proceedings – making a combined 88-run partnership.

The lower order also contributed exceptionally for New Zealand, with number eight Colin de Grandhomme swinging a fine 57 runs, as the Black Caps took their intimidating lead just past the halfway mark of day four.

In New Zealand’s 162.1-over innings, South Africa’s Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada each took four wickets apiece with figures of 4/100 and 4/122 respectively. Morkel, slightly more economical than Rabada, bowled determinedly and was the pick of the bowlers for the day; and with this onset, was backed up decently by Keshav Maharaj’s very much economical spin with figures of 2/118 off 50 overs.

South Africa were then to the evermore unconvincing when they took to the crease, in an attempt to just simply neutralise their deficit, before even considering taking a lead themselves. They slumped to 80/5 at stumps, and with still 95 runs to score on the cards to heed New Zealand’s projection; they certainly have a deep hole to climb out of come day five.

Opener, Theunis de Bruin horrifically ran himself out, and with that, poor judgement and communication to Hashim Amla on the other end, set the tone for the Proteas’ performance over the last day and a half.

Getting dismissed on a suicide run up the pitch that did not justify the worth for one run, South Africa seemingly looked to implode with lacking of communication of the experienced and inexperienced between the two in the middle. Amla went out nine overs later for a mere 19 runs.

Captain, Faf du Plessis and run-scoring dependent, Quinton de Kock finished on the crease with 15 not out each, and they would have some task on their hands in just alleviating the deficit, but for which, South Africa’s best hopes would be to play for a draw on day five.

Image: Hashim Amla's and Theunis de Bruin's suicidal run misjudgement.