South Africa inflict huge defeat on New Zealand; level Test series

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South Africa levelled the two-Test series against New Zealand, snaring the remaining six wickets on the final day at Hagley Oval here to crush the hosts by 198 runs on Tuesday.

The Blackcaps showed some fight with the bat at times, but finally had too much to do as Keshav Maharaj (3/75) picked up the final New Zealand wicket early in the final session to ensure victory. New Zealand were bowled out for 227.

It means the two-Test series ends up tied at 1-1, following the hosts’ resounding victory by an innings and 276 runs in the opening Test at the same venue last month.

The win sees the Proteas earn valuable points in the ICC World Test Championship standings, although they remain in fourth place with 60 per cent of possible points.

New Zealand stay in sixth spot on the standings, with their percentage of possible points dropping to 38.88.

Resuming at 94/4 and still needing a further 332 more runs for an unlikely victory, New Zealand made a slow start through dependable top-order batter Devon Conway and Tom Blundell.

Paceman Lutho Sipamla (1/29) made the vital breakthrough for the tourists by getting rid of Conway (92) just before lunch and, when Blundell (44), and first innings centurion Colin de Grandhomme (18) fell in quick succession after the break, South Africa were just three wickets away.

The Dean Elgar-led side took the second new ball midway through the middle session and it almost paid immediate dividends as Kyle Jamieson was given a life in comical circumstances with Marco Jansen’s first delivery with the new ball.

It mattered little as Jamieson (12) picked out Kagiso Rabada in the deep two balls later for Jansen’s third scalp as the home side were hanging on at 201/8.

Tim Southee and Neil Wagner held on for a short while, until Rabada returned to the attack to claim Southee. A brief spell of rain saw an early tea, but things soon cleared up and Maharaj trapped Matt Henry (0) in front to make sure South Africa claimed the series-levelling win.

Brief scores: South Africa 364 and 354/9 decl beat New Zealand 293 and 227 (Devon Conway 92, Tom Blundell 44; Kagiso Rabada 3/46, Marco Jansen 3/63, Keshav Maharaj 3/75) by 198 runs.

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