Verreynne, Rabada help Proteas on the brink of leveling NZ series

Kyle Verreynne went on to an outstanding first century Test and Kagiso Rabada was explosive with both bat and ball to put South Africa firmly in control of the second Test against New Zealand on day four at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Monday .

Verreynne’s 136 not out, a beautiful turn that combines courage, tenacity, composure and skill, brought the Proteas to 354/9 declared in their second innings.

It enabled them to set New Zealand’s daunting goal of 426, which has never been successfully chased in Test cricket before, and the home side had struggled 94/4 on the penultimate day.

Maharaj strikes

Rabada removed both openers, Will Young (0) and Tom Latham (1) in his first two overs and left arm spinner Keshav Maharaj then began to weave his magic as he threw both Henry Nicholls (7) and Daryl Mitchell (24) with brilliant deliveries.

Rabada finished the day 2/17 in eight overs, while Maharaj bowled 16 overs and claimed 2/32.

Devon Conway was the lone batter to frustrate the Proteas, as he showed great determination, holding out 127 deliveries and 60 failing.

South Africa started the fourth day at 140/5, just 211 ahead, and Verreynne and Wiaan Mulder had to show great composure and skill to get through the crucial first hour.

Taking their sixth wicket stand to 78 before Mulder fell for a valuable 35 on the first drink break, wicketkeeper Tom Blundell took a nice dive catch from Kyle Jamieson.

South Africa lunched on 232/7 and a remarkable second session followed when Verreynne and a ferocious Rabada were in unbridled form with the bat.

Rabada shot a career-best 47 from just 34 balls with four sixes, while Verreynne also let loose when 69 runs were destroyed in the first eight overs after the break.

New Zealand’s frustration didn’t end with Rabada’s sacking either, as Verreynne added 57 more runs with Maharaj and Lutho Sipamla before the statement came over the tea break.

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