Thursday, 30 March, 2017

Williamson put South Africa under pressure

Dean Elgar survived some anxious early moments for his highest test score of 140 before Neil Wagner removed him DIANNE MANSON GETTY IMAGES Dean Elgar survived some anxious early moments for his highest test score of 140 before Neil Wagner removed him
Jan Ortega | 13 March, 2017, 00:20

After four days of ups and downs, New Zealand and South Africa had to settle for a draw in the first Test in Dunedin, after day five was washed out by the rain without a single ball being bowled.

With the home side threatening to achieve a meaningful first-innings lead, thanks largely to Kane Williamson's superb century, Maharaj bagged the last three wickets to finish with figures of 5 for 94 and keep New Zealand to a first-innings total of 341.

"In general to get the first Test out of the way for the guys who haven't played in a while", he said of the positives.

"We haven't played on wickets like this in New Zealand before". Keshav Maharaj found the edge when he was on 10, and again on 40, but on both occasions the ball fell fractionally short of Hashim Amla at first slip.

The big wicket of Dean Elgar was Neil Wagner's third of the South African innings. "Kane really played well and you can't take it away from him".

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The pressure on him early today will be enormous as he bats with the tail, trying to guide South Africa from 6 for 224 and a lead of 191, to something they can defend. His ton, and a half-century by BJ Watling, gave the Kiwi's a 33-run first-innings cushion. Their 308 was anchored by 140 from opener Elgar. Neil Wagner produced another snorter to remove Dean Elgar for his highest test score 140 and Patel snaffled the risky Quinton de Kock for the third time in as many innings.

Trent Boult followed that up with three wickets in a lengthy spell either side of lunch, and finished with 4 for 64, while Jeetan Patel dismissed the risky Quinton de Kock as South Africa were dismissed for 308.

New Zealand's chief destroyer Trent Boult, with four for 64 in unhelpful bowling conditions, said they would not know until Friday if Taylor could resume playing, but the prospects were not good. Fast bowler Tim Southee is expected to return to the line-up in place of either Mitchell Santner or Jeetan Patel, although Williamson would not be drawn on which of the spinners was likely to crack the nod.

For South Africa, selection is unlikely to change much after Morne Morkel came through his comeback Test well, ahead of a surface with slightly more bounce at the Basin Reserve.

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