The second Test between New Zealand and South Africa got underway on Tuesday, February 13, at Seddon Park, Hamilton.
Neil Brand won the toss and opted to bat first on a grassy pitch. Matt Henry gave the hosts the perfect start as he dismissed wicketkeeper-batter Clyde Fortuin off his first ball in the second over of the innings. The Proteas skipper stitched a 36-run partnership alongside Raynard van Tonder before becoming the first Test victim of debutant William O’Rourke.
The considerable amount of swing on display didn’t perturb van Tonder as he looked solid during his 32-run knock off 71 balls. However, the experienced Neil Wagner dismissed him minutes before lunch as the right-handed batter poked at a widish delivery.
The second session saw Zubayr Hamza and David Bedingham play cautiously as they tried to steady the South African ship. They played out five maidens in a row at one point as the urge to keep the scoreboard ticking took a backseat. The right-handed duo added 36 runs off 118 balls before Hamza lost his patience and tried to slog Rachin Ravindra across the line. The leading edge flew to backward point where substitute fielder Mitchell Santner took a regulation catch.
Hamza’s 99-ball stay at the crease yielded just 20 runs. Keegan Petersen, who is the most experienced player in South Africa’s playing XI, departed cheaply as Ravindra was in the middle of a fine spell. Bedingham added another 49 runs with Ruan de Swardt before he became Ravindra’s third victim. Interestingly, the left-arm spinner went on to bowl 21 overs on a greenish pitch and conceded just 33 runs.
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The 37-year-old debutant Shaun von Berg and de Swardt joined forces at the score of 150/6. They stitched an unbeaten 70-run partnership as the tourists finished the day at 220/6. Twenty nine out of the 89 overs bowled on Day 1 were maidens. de Swardt scored his first international half-century, remaining unbeaten on 55 off 135 deliveries. von Berg has also looked at ease during the time he spent at the crease. They will look to take their team closer to the 300-run mark on Day 2, while the hosts would want to break the partnership as soon as possible.
Here’s how ‘X’ users reacted to the action on Day 1:
What a day for these two Ruan de Swardt and Shaun Von Berg to bat out 42 overs today after SA were 150-6
They finish on 55 and 34 unbeaten with SA on 220-6 in 89 overs
Spinner among wickets again, Ravindra got 3/33#NZvSA pic.twitter.com/N8l4xUCzoC
— Abhijeet ♞ (@TheYorkerBall) February 13, 2024
Ruan de Swardt is looking good at this level 👌
Chuffed for him.#NZvSA
— Lawrence Bailey ⚪ 🇿🇦 (@LawrenceBailey0) February 13, 2024
Day 1 is EVEN!!! 🥳🥳🥳 Love that from the Proteas. Great partnership btw De Swardt and Von Berg. Can’t wait to see Von Berg and Piedt spinning New Zealand into a web. De Swardt is having a great tour. #NZvSA
— Mpho Mutloane (@MphoMoreki) February 13, 2024
I don’t understand why with a left hander at the crease why Glen Phillips wasn’t given a trundle after tea, especially given the left hander at the crease.#NZvSA
— Jamie Dally 🇳🇿 🇩🇰 🏴 (@DallyJamie) February 13, 2024
Not a bad effort to get through the day from South Africa. Obviously would’ve preferred a few more runs, but expectations aren’t huge. Pitch is a bit slow again but these batsmen aren’t quite Kane and Rachin. Making NZ work tho which is a good thing. #NZvSA
— Craig M (@diminutiverowdy) February 13, 2024
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