Cold weather and a Hagley Oval pitch that stubbornly refused to accelerate was no antiseptic for Kagiso Rabada’s grueling fast bowling as he reduced New Zealand to 157 on the second day of the second Test against South Africa in Christchurch on Saturday. /5 on stumps .
Rabada had bowled superbly to take 3/37 in 12 overs, leaving the Black Caps still leaving 207 runs in the first innings and very grateful for the unbeaten sixth-wicket score of 66 between Daryl Mitchell (29*) and Colin de Grandhomme ( 54* ) who brought them to the end.
Rabada only needed four pitches to strike, although there was an element of luck for the bowler when New Zealand skipper Tom Latham (0) shoved a throw down the leg side and was caught brilliantly by diving wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne.
Rabada’s second wicket came in his third when he removed the other Kiwi opener, Will Young (3), who was caught behind with a pitch that climbed steeply outside the stump.
The ace fast bower’s best wicket was his third and final when he threw a pitch back into the off-stump of Tom Blundell, who was bowled for six with his arms on his shoulder.
With Marco Jansen claiming the main wickets from Devon Conway, who was also caught behind the legs, for 16 and Henry Nicholls, who was caught by a well placed deep back point at 39, New Zealand dropped to 91/5.
But a few clean strokes from De Grandhomme and Mitchell made for a challenging end to the day for the home side.
South Africa, resumed on 238/03, had previously posted 364 all out, their best total since 621 scored against Sri Lanka in the 2020 Boxing Day test at Centurion.
However, after the exploits of the first day and the century of Sarel Erwee, they didn’t make the best start of the second day as their middle class stalled and they crashed to 302/8.
But momentum was regained by a stunning partnership of 62 from just 79 balls, South Africa’s record for the ninth wicket against New Zealand, between Jansen (37*) and Keshav Maharaj (36).
Fast left-armed Neil Wagner did the most damage on Saturday when he took 4/102 in 31 overs, while first Test destroyer Matt Henry claimed 3/90 in 35 overs.