NZ vs SA – 1st Test – Matt Henry and Mitchell Santner leave SA reeling despite Keegan Petersen’s resistance


Lunch South Africa 129 for 7 (Petersen 33*, Henry 3-31, Santner 2-18, Jamieson 2-26) trail New Zealand 511 by 382 runs

Keegan Petersen was the lone man standing between New Zealand and their decision to make South Africa follow-on after the visitors were left reeling at 129 for 7 at lunch on the third day. They still trailed by a massive 382 runs and needed another 182 to avoid the follow-on. Whether the hosts will implement the follow-on or not will remain to be seen because they have bowled 56 overs so far of which their fast bowlers have delivered 40.
New Zealand dominated yet another session in Mount Maunganui after Matt Henry struck twice in an over and Mitchell Santner broke a stubborn stand between Petersen and Clyde Fortuin, one of the six debutants, that had taken the visitors past 100.

South Africa started the day on 80 for 4 and found scoring pretty tough in the first hour in which Henry accounted for David Bedingham and debutant Ruan de Swardt. They had scored just three runs in the first 33 balls of the day before Bedingham got a leading edge off a wild pull and Santner settled under it near the pitch. Two balls later, left-handed batter de Swardt shouldered arms to an inswinger from around the wicket to be struck outside off and was given out by Richard Kettleborough. De Swardt reviewed almost immediately, and ball-tracking showed the ball would have just shaved off stump and the batter had to walk back reluctantly.

Petersen and Fortuin got together at a precarious 83 for 6, trailing by a massive 428, and resisted with plenty of blocks and leaves before they started to open up in the second hour. Petersen was the slower of the two initially as he didn’t score for as many as 31 balls when he was on 2. Fortuin, meanwhile, showed good technique outside off and by ducking and swaying under the short balls from the quicks.

Petersen started to move along with a rare boundary he collected against Tim Southee who continued to swing the old ball along with Kyle Jamieson. Petersen then started to drive a little more and also survived a close lbw call when he missed a rare reverse sweep against Santner and New Zealand used a review to try and overturn the on-field decision but ball-tracking showed the ball to be missing the stumps.

Fortuin took 17 balls to get off the mark and even survived a chance when Santner drew an outside edge that deflected off the wicketkeeper Tom Blundell’s gloves and landed near the right boot of first slip. He was troubled by Jamieson too and his stubborn 79-minute vigil ended when he attacked Santner but handed a catch to short cover for 9.

As Santner beat the batters by sticking to a line around off stump to keep the lbw in play and draw some edges, Southee brought on spin from both ends in the form of Rachin Ravindra to keep the pressure before the lunch break. Petersen went to lunch unbeaten on 33 and will want to defy the New Zealand bowlers for as long as possible.


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