Poor Weather Ruins Play at Kingsmead between South Africa and New Zealand

August 22 16:03 2016

nzNew Delhi, Monday, August 22 – The New Zealand cricket team lately flew for South Africa to play in 2-match Test series, which kicked off Friday, August 19. South Africa won the toss and decided to bat first at Kingsmead in Durban – the venue to host the opening Test match. Both sides looked confident. All sorts of arrangements were done to not let any obstacles stop the match. But not everything happens as planned. A wet outfield stopped any play on Sunday, making both South Africa and New Zealand, along with viewers to  mull over whether and how the play should begin.

Faf du Plessis led the home squad. Stephen Cook, Dean Elgar, Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Jean-Paul Duminy, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Dane Piedt were picked in the Playing XI to make the hosts rise stronger. Wayne Parnell, Stiaan van Zyl, Kyle Abbott and Chris Morris were the players in extra at the same time. New Zealand squad, on the other hand, had Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner. Those to sit on bench were Mark Craig, Luke Ronchi, Jeet Raval, Ish Sodhi and Matt Henry,

The players in the team were likely to showcase good cricket despite not being into familiar conditions. Williamson captaincy was considered to be of immense importance. Fans were looking forward to the fact how he leads his group, which landed in South African soil with the motto to be victorious. If a glance is put over the scoring pattern at the ground then viewers will come to know that average 1st inning score is 300, average 2nd inning score is 272, average 3rd inning score is 261 average 4th inning score is 198. As far as some crucial stats are concerned then 658 was the highest total achieved for the loss of 9 wickets in 166.2 overs by South Africa in opposition to West Indies. The lowest total of 66 runs in 34.1 overs was put by the Men in Blue thanks to good bowling by South African bowling line-up. More to the point, 340 runs are the highest chased by South Africa in opposition to Australian cricket team. Last but not the least, 166 runs are the lowest defended by New Zealand vs. South Africa.

When the home side got the chance to bat, the objective was to display good show. The opening batsmen were confident of giving Proteas a wonderful start but that did not turn true. Stephen Cook’s wicket was earned by T Boult at a score of 20 (4 x 1) at the moment Watling was quick in catching the ball. Dean Elgar lost his wicket to Bracewell post pocketing 19 runs in 43 balls, together with three 4s. Hashim Amla was standing strong and eyed a partnership which did not come from Jean-Paul Duminy – the next man in. Wagner showed  Duminy the way back to the dressing room at a score of 14, which impressively included three boundaries. Amla, in contrast, pocketed a fifty. His stylish play was studded with 10 4s. Watling was fast in pouching the ball when Boult bowled a delivery on which Amla lost his wicket while playing at a score of 53 in 71 balls.

Faf du Plessis, the captain of South Africa, stayed there for a bit long but scored 23 runs off 84 balls. Three boundaries from him was classy. Wagner ended his stint in the 58th over. Quinton de Kock – the wicket-keeper batsman – played an impressive knock of 33 runs, which consisted of seven fours, in 33 deliveries. Santner  got his wicket to let Kiwis smell the approaching grip in the contest. Temba Bavuma was lbw by Santner  when he was four runs away from getting a half-century. He faced 90 balls to get that score and struck seven 4s.

Vernon Philander departed early post not having a clue about a delivery by N Wagner. His knock of 8 runs came in 16 balls, together with a four. Dale Steyn did no good with the bat as Southee dismissed him at a score of 2. South African innings came to an end after Dane Piedt succumbed to T Boult post playing an innings of 9 in 28 balls, together with a four.  Kagiso Rabada was not out at a score of 32 in 60 balls, together with five 4s. When the contest started on Friday, it must be a question in the mind of everyone who will be the part of both teams when it is about setting foundation of team’s success in the end. Rabada’s confident knock must have surprised his teammates. Proteas were all out in 87.4 overs, totalling 263 runs. Kiwis bowled in good line and length, giving just 4 extras.

Williamson tried six bowling options to get 10 wickets as early as possible. Tim Southee and Doug Bracewell got one wicket each. In addition to this, Mitchell Santner dismissed two men. Trent Boult and Neil Wagner were brilliant as they got three wickets apiece. Martin Guptill bowled only an over and did not get any wicket. Certainly, he was brought in attack to see as bowling change can do a trick or not. Kiwis did a fantastic job by restricting the opponents before 300. Most batsmen succumbed under pressure that wasn’t likely.  Not to forget that so many things have changed in cricket of the South African team in the recent past. Proteas haven’t been on a robust side by the time they lost a series against England early this year. They tried to find a way to excel this time to be on the path of improvement.

Currently at 7th place in the ICC Tests rankings, South Africa would like to climb up after the series come to an end. So far, their efforts may put them on the track. Despite the fact that the play did not continue due to heavy showers, which started on Saturday, continued throughout the day and till Sunday morning, Proteas got two wickets. Martin Guptill was lbw by Steyn at a score of 7 in 23 balls, together with a four. Tom Latham also lost his wicket to Steyn at 4 runs. If play resumes anytime, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor will restart his batting at 2 runs. In 12 overs, 15 runs were scored by the tourists. Black Caps trail by 248 runs.

Here is to remind that the Kiwis are at No. 5 position, pocketing 99 points in 28 matches in the ICC rankings for Tests. Unquestionably, the players of the both sides will attempt to do everything possible to log victories as soon as conditions become ideal for the play. South Africa and Kiwis have bunch of talented players, who need a platform to shine. What can be the best time than today? The 1st Test seems to end in a draw if weather isn’t ideal. However, eyes can’t be shut to the fact that South Africa may have made optimal use of the decision to bat first after winning the toss. It will be an interesting point to see how they make challengers face the heat.

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