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Proteas shoot down New Zealand batters in the Dane-ger zone on day two

Proteas shoot down New Zealand batters in the Dane-ger zone on day two
Dane Piedt claimed 5-89 as the Proteas bowled New Zealand out for 211 on day two of the second Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton, New Zealand, on 14 February 2024. (Photo: Hannah Peters / Getty Images)

New Zealand 211 (Kane Williamson 43, Tom Latham 40, Dane Piedt 5-89, Dane Paterson 3-39) trail South Africa 242 (Ruan de Swardt 64, Will O’Rourke 4-59) by 31 runs after day two.

South Africa’s double Danes – Piedt and Paterson – claimed eight New Zealand wickets on day two as the Proteas bowled the Black Caps out for 211.

South Africa will take a useful, but slender 31-run first-innings lead into day three when the Proteas are set to bat again, having been bowled out for 242 earlier on the second morning.

Off-spinner Dane Piedt claimed his second five-wicket haul in a Test with a five for 89 after a mammoth effort, in which he bowled 32.3 overs.

It was a dramatic collapse by New Zealand, who looked well set for a first-innings lead at 145 for three after tea but lost seven wickets for the addition of only 66 runs in the final session.

Piedt was impressive with his consistent length, flight and turn, while Paterson found a hint of swing later in the day. Opener Tshepo Moreki also found the edge several times but bowled without much luck, although he did claim the big wicket of Rachin Ravindra for 29 just after tea, which started the collapse.

Proteas

The Proteas’ Dane Piedt celebrates the wicket of Glenn Phillips of hosts New Zealand on day two of the second Test at Seddon Park in Hamilton on 14 February 2024. (Photo: Hannah Peters / Getty Images)

Losing wickets

Earlier South Africa were dismissed for 242, losing their last four wickets for 22 runs in 8.3 overs. At that stage it felt as if the Blacks Caps were well on top.

It was a disappointing total for the Proteas considering they began the day on 220 for six, with Ruan de Swardt and Shaun von Berg well set to move the total beyond 300.

But both fell quickly after the start of play, with Von Berg bowled for 38 by Will O’Rourke in the third over of the day.

Piedt came and went for four and then New Zealand bagged the big wicket of De Swardt for 64. The left-hander chopped an O’Rourke delivery onto his stumps, which was a disappointing end to a good knock.

The final wickets fell quickly but New Zealand’s reply started poorly with the out-of-sorts Devon Conway caught behind by Clyde Fortuin off Paterson without scoring.

South Africa’s tight bowling pinned New Zealand down, with former skipper Kane Williamson and Tom Latham both forced to defend stoutly. It took almost 14 overs for the first boundary of the innings.

Dane Paterson of South Africa bowls on day two of the second Test in the series against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton on 14 February 2024. (Photo: Hannah Peters / Getty Images)

Dane Paterson during the second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton on 14 February 2024. (Photo: Hannah Peters / Getty Images)

Williams and Latham put on 74 for the second wicket but eventually Piedt got his man with a beauty that turned and clipped the top of Latham’s off-stump.

Williamson didn’t last much longer, caught at short-leg by Raynard van Tonder off Piedt. He scored 43, with 41 of those runs coming on the leg side, demonstrating his strength in that area.

Ravindra and Will Young added 59 for the fifth wicket to steady the innings, but when Moreki made the breakthrough, the rest of the wickets tumbled quickly.

Piedt, who was playing in the US when he got the call from coach Shukri Conrad to tour New Zealand, has made the most of his opportunity.

Ruan de Swardt of South Africa bats on day one of the second Test against the Black Caps at Seddon Park in Hamilton, New Zealand, on 13 February 2024. (Photo: Hannah Peters / Getty Images)

“It was a great day of Test cricket,” Piedt said afterwards. “We couldn’t have asked for a better day and I think we controlled the run rate from the first over.

“It was a great effort from everyone involved today and I’m very proud of how we competed. This New Zealand side is a proper Test team and they are not just going to give it away. It took perseverance and persistence and we had some luck with a few chop-ons.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Proteas stare down the barrel in bid to retain unbeaten series record in NZ

“I can’t believe I’m here actually. I got the call from Shukri when I was in the US and I thought he was joking.

“I have a different perspective on life now with a young family, and just having the opportunity to do this gives me a lot of pride.”

At the halfway stage the match is almost dead even. The Proteas batters have a chance to take the match away from New Zealand when they resume on day three. A lead in excess of 250, on a pitch that will take more turn on days four and five, might be enough.

“I’m looking forward to bowling in the fourth innings, but New Zealand are a strong team and we have to be disciplined and persistent when we bowl again,” Piedt said.

“We can’t give them free scoring opportunities. I don’t see the pitch getting easier, and I suspect it’s going to be a close finish. We have to bat well tomorrow.” DM

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