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Recent Match Report – New Zealand vs South Africa 1st Test 2023/24

Lunch New Zealand 330 for 3 (Ravindra 169*, Williamson 118, de Swardt 1-30, Paterson 1-74) vs South Africa

Ruan de Swardt finally had some luck going his way after two dropped catches on the first day, but Rachin Ravindra continued to make merry as he notched up his first Test 150 to consolidate New Zealand’s position of strength on the second day of the first Test in Mount Maunganui.
Resuming on 258 for 2, New Zealand lost Kane Williamson to an ungainly hoick in the ninth over of the morning, but Ravindra continued from where he left on day one to move past 150. He got good support from Daryl Mitchell and the duo moved to lunch unscathed with New Zealand on 330 for 3 after 114 overs, adding 72 runs in the first session.

With the second new ball just six overs old, South Africa surprisingly did not go with Tshepo Moreki first up on the second day, instead starting with allrounder Ruan de Swardt and Dane Paterson.

Paterson got the wobble seam going his way and induced an edge off Ravindra’s blade with just his second ball but there was no third slip in place to take the catch. Soon after, he had Williamson edging, but having played with soft hands, the thin edge did not carry to the keeper, who dived to his right and parried the ball to second slip.

Williamson got his first boundary off the day with a thick edge past gully but failed to carry on for long. Looking to unsettle de Swardt’s consistent wicket-to-wicket lines, he eyed an uncharacteristic cross-batted hoick, but all he could manage was a top edge that ballooned straight up. De Swardt, who had both Williamson and Ravindra dropped off his bowling on the first day watched in anticipation. But Moreki at mid-on made no mistake much to the delight of de Swardt. That ended a 232-run association between Williamson and Ravindra off 472 balls.

Mitchell, having been padded up for ages, immediately got going with a full-blooded lofted drive past mid-on. Ravindra, meanwhile, kept things busy rotating the strike and getting the boundaries away at every given chance.

Moreki didn’t have the same kind of nip that he found on day one and was pulled stylishly by Ravindra through midwicket. Duanne Olivier was handed similar treatment before two delicious straight drives helped Ravindra breach the 150-mark in Tests for the first time. There were a few more thickish outside edges off Ravindra’s blade but a wicket never came.

Mitchell and Ravindra have so far added 59 runs for the fourth wicket and will look to extend New Zealand’s dominance after the break.

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