Proteas stutter but fight on in Hamilton

Henry

It is by no means a convincing performance, but the South African batsmen were at least able to pass the 200-run mark in the second test against New Zealand in Hamilton.

Neil Brand won the toss and decided to bat first and things started in the worst possible way when his opening partner Clyde Fortuin was caught on the first delivery he faced.

After that, Raynard van Tonder, Zubayr Hamza and David Bedingham entrenched themselves against the Kiwi bowling, only to wave the white flag against Rachin Ravindra’s spin bowling.

Van Tonder was admittedly knocked out by the South African-born Neil Wagner, but Hamza, Bedingham and Keegan Petersen all lost their heads against Ravindra.

South Africa staggered with its score at 150/6, but fortunately Ruan de Swardt (55 not out) and Shaun von Berg (34 not out) managed to at least take some of the chestnuts out of the fire with their unbeaten partnership of 70 runs around the seventh wicket.

The two batsmen will have to come out and show tomorrow because after them the Proteas must rely on the dangerous batting prowess of Dane Piedt, Tshepo Moreki and Dane Paterston.

If the Brands lose the test, they will become the first South African team to go down against the Blackcaps in a red-ball cricket series.

However, the interim Protea captain promised a better performance in this test.

“I told the guys after the first test that we played good cricket for about 65% of the match. Needless to say, we have to learn very quickly from our mistakes at this level, but we are desperate to put things right,” said Brand.

  • Summary of the scorecard:

South Africa 220/6 in 89 overs: Ruan de Swardt 55*, David Bedingham 39 and Rachin Ravindra 3/33.

  • Teams:

South Africa: Neil Brand (captain), Clyde Fortuin, Raynard van Tonder, Zubayr Hamza, David Bedingham, Keegan Petersen, Ruan de Swardt, Shaun von Berg, Dane Piedt, Tshepo Moreki and Dane Paterson.

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Rachin Ravindra, Will Young, Tom Blundell, Glenn Phillips, Matt Henry, Tim Southee (captain), Neil Wagner and William O’ Rourke.