All-rounder Rachin Ravindra shone with the ball before lower middle-order batter Ruan de Swardt led a defiant resistance for South Africa against New Zealand on Day 1 of their 2nd Test in Hamilton. Rachin Ravindra bowled 21 overs and picked up 3 wickets, but South Africa headed to Stumps at 220 for 6 with the 7th-wicket partnership reading 70 not out.
South Africa managed just 162 and 247 in the first Test which they lost by a mammoth margin of 281 runs. However, the tourists, who have been hamstrung by the absence of their top players, came up with a much-improved show with the bat.
SA vs NZ, 2nd Test Day 1 Highlights
Ruan de Swardt, who showed signs of adapting to the highest level with a fighting 34 not out in the final innings of the first Test, hit his maiden Test fifty, stalling the New Zealand charge. De Swardt hit 55 not out after batting out 135 balls along with Shaun Von Berg, who batted 82 balls for his 34 not out.
The two batters will be looking to resume action on Wednesday on a steady note and help South Africa post a competitive first-innings total. Notably, South Africa have never lost a Test series to New Zealand, but they are in danger of doing so after losing the opener by a massive margin. South Africa sent a weakened team to New Zealand as their senior players opted to play in the SA20 Twenty20 league, a decision that was backed by the national cricket board.
“Unbelievable. It was quite a hard graft out there, I thought the New Zealanders bowled pretty well but for me, it was just get stuck into them, have that mental toughness and keep going,” de Swardt said.
“I think if we can bat well tomorrow, get past 300, 350, we’re definitely in with a chance,” he added.
South Africa won the toss and opted to bat on a bright morning at Seddon Park
However, they lost wicketkeeper and opener Clyde Fortuin for 0 in the second over of the day with Matt Henry striking.
New Zealand played 4 pacers along with a lone spinner in Rachin Ravindra. Captain Neil Brand was dismissed by William O’Rourke while the likes of Raynard van Tonder, Zubayr Hamza and David Bdingham all got starts but failed to convert them into big knocks.
Experienced Keegan Petersen fell for 2 to Rachin Ravindra, who ran through the middle-order, breaking the back of the South African batting unit with wickets of Hamza and Bedingham as well.
All eyes will be on Rachin Ravindra as the young all-rounder, who hit a double hundred in the first Test, will be gunning for his maiden 5-wicket haul on Wednesday.
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