Right then, New Zealand have become the first holders of the Tangiwai Shield. They were the favorites coming into this series, and they have lived up to that tag, securing a 2-0 series win. As for South Africa, not many gave them a chance, given the manner of defeat in the first Test, but they showed a remarkable fight to give New Zealand a run for their money. They will return home with their heads held high and plenty of positives. With this, we have come to the end of South Africa's tour of New Zealand. The Kiwis now prepare to host their Trans-Transman rival, Australia, for a multi-format series, starting with a three-match T20I series, beginning on the 21st of February. It will be followed by a two-Test series that will commence on the 29th of February. Meanwhile, day 2 of the third Test between India and England is unfolding in Rajkot. You can switch tabs and join us there for all the action. Cheers!
Kane Williamson is the PLAYER OF THE SERIES for amassing a total of 403 runs from 4 innings, including 3 hundreds.
William O'Rourke is the PLAYER OF THE MATCH for taking 9 wickets in his debut Test, paving the way for a historic win for New Zealand.
The Presentation ceremony…
The opening day of the Test saw a gripping battle between the two sides. New Zealand dominated the first two sessions, while South Africa fought back in the third session. Opting to bat after winning the toss, South Africa faced early setbacks as Clyde Fortuin fell for a golden duck, and skipper Neil Brand and Raynard van Tonder couldn't capitalize on promising starts. Despite some resistance from Zubayr Hamza and David Bedingham, South Africa found themselves struggling in the third session. However, Ruan de Swardt and debutant Shaun von Berg showcased resilience, with the former reaching his maiden Test fifty before the close of play and South Africa ended the day at a score of 220. New Zealand, on the other hand, displayed patience and discipline throughout the day. Matt Henry and debutant William O'Rourke made early breakthroughs, while Neil Wagner's short-ball strategy proved effective. Rachin Ravindra capitalized on favorable conditions, chipping away at the wickets in the second and third sessions. Despite reducing South Africa to 150-6, New Zealand faced resistance from de Swardt and von Berg, limiting their success to just six wickets by the end of the day.
Despite a challenging start to Day 2 and losing their last four wickets for just 15 runs, South Africa's fighting spirit prevailed. Debutant Shaun von Berg's early dismissal hindered progress, leaving Ruan de Swardt without substantial tail support. However, a resilient bowling display, led by Dane Paterson and Dane Piedt, reversed the momentum. Piedt claimed a five-wicket haul, his first in 9 years, while Paterson took 3 and Tshepo Moreki secured one. South Africa delivered a sensational bowling performance, dismissing New Zealand for 211 and securing a crucial 31-run lead, marking the end of Day 2 with them holding the ascendancy. New Zealand, disappointed with their batting effort, faced setbacks early, including Devon Conway's duck and dismissals of Kane Williamson and Tom Latham in their forties. Rachin Ravindra and Will Young initially negotiated the tricky phase before Tea, but a collapse followed Rachin Ravindra's departure. Will Young's attempt to counterattack proved unsuccessful, relying on the tail to narrow the deficit. Neil Wagner's lone fight and counterattack, contributing 33 runs, prevented a larger lead for South Africa.
New Zealand made significant strides on the 'Moving Day' with three early wickets, but the momentum shifted as spinners struggled, allowing South Africa to settle. Neil Wagner's immediate impact after Lunch broke a resilient partnership, with Glenn Phillips' outstanding catch further highlighting the need for breakthroughs. South Africa lost their last six wickets of 33 runs to be bowled out for 235, with David Bedingham's century pivotal. New Zealand's fight back with the ball was led by William O'Rourke. The debutant took his maiden five-wicket haul to end up with 9 wickets in the match, the best showing by a Kiwi bowler on Test debut. In their pursuit of 267 runs, Devon Conway and Tom Latham got the Kiwis off to a steady start. Dane Paterson and Tshepo Moreki maintained tight lines with the ball, while Dane Piedt's crucial wicket of Devon Conway left the match finely poised for Day 4, with New Zealand requiring 227 more runs and South Africa hunting for nine wickets.
South Africa may have come second best but they have punched above their weight, despite the gulf in the experience of the two sides. The Proteas bowlers made the Kiwi batters work hard for every run but they ran into Kane Williamson whose masterclass took the game away from them. Having finished Day 3 on a high with the wicket of Devon Conway, South Africa started the day with a strong belief of taking the remaining nine wickets. Dane Piedt picked up where he left off on Day 3 and gave the hosts an early breakthrough. However, the visitors could not build on that scalp in the morning session. Dane Paterson and Tshepo Moreki beat the bat on several occasions throughout the second innings but were unlucky not to succeed. Piedt reignited their hopes in the second session, accounting for Rachin Ravindra. But Kane Williamson and Will Young joined hands and closed all doors of a Proteas comeback through their respective resilient innings.
Time was not an issue for New Zealand, and all they had to do was avoid losing early wickets at the start of the day. Kane Williamson joined Tom Latham, and the duo went about their business in their own fashion. However, Latham could not see through until the first hour of play. Rachin Ravindra joined hands with Williamson, and although the southpaw looked tentative, he did well to stay unbeaten till Lunch. Rachin failed to get out of his shell in the second session, and his overly conservative approach led to his downfall. Despite the departure of Rachin, Williamson carried on his merry way and notched up his fifty. Will Young began cautiously, but Williamson kept the scoreboard ticking, having come to terms with the pace and bounce of the surface. Having successfully managed to overturn the caught behind decision just before Tea, Young grew in confidence as the innings progressed. It was just another day at the office for Williamson, as he brought up his 32nd Test and became the fastest in terms of innings to score 32 Test centuries. Young got to his fifty as well and batted through to see his side home alongside Kane Williamson.
HISTORY CREATED IN HAMILTON! Kane Williamson and Will Young get the job done for New Zealand. The Kiwis have pulled off the highest-ever run chase at Seddon Park to secure their first-ever Test series win against South Africa. Yes, you read that right. It is the first series win for New Zealand against South Africa in Test cricket.
Tshepo Moreki to Kane Williamson ,FOUR! New Zealand finally win a series against South Africa after 92 years and 18 attempts! Tshepo Moreki goes full and around off. Kane Williamson drives it through the covers region and times it well. The ball races away to the fence for four runs and that seals the deal for this game.
Tshepo Moreki to Kane Williamson ,On a length and on off. Kane Williamson defends solidly. Taking it slow here.
Dane Piedt to Kane Williamson ,Uppish and on off. Kane Williamson drives it to long on and runs a single.
Dane Piedt to Will Young ,A bit short and around off. Will Young whips it to deep mid-wicket for a single.
Dane Piedt to Will Young ,Fullish and on middle. Will Young comes down the ground and blocks it out.
Dane Piedt to Kane Williamson ,Tossed up on off. Kane Williamson drives it to long on and runs a single.
Dane Piedt to Kane Williamson ,A bit short and turning into leg. Kane Williamson rocks back and blocks it out.