The West Indies now have two wins and two losses at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup after suffering a crushing seven-wicket loss to favourites Australia in Wellington on Monday.

The Caribbean side won the toss and elected to bat first on a pitch that seemed to offer both batters and bowlers an opportunity to shine.

Unfortunately, the Windies innings never got out of first gear after losing both Hayley Matthews (0) and Deandra Dottin (16) early.

Captain Stafanie Taylor did her best to bring stability to the innings with a trying 50 off 91 balls but her dismissal in the 41st over signalled the end of the West Indies resistance as they were swiftly bowled out for 131 after 46 overs.

Ellyse Perry was the pick of the Aussie bowlers with 3-22 off eight overs, while Ashleigh Gardner took 3-25 off 10.

Australia then coasted to their fourth straight win, getting to 132-3 off 30.2 overs with Rachel Haynes finishing not out on 83.

The West Indies now find themselves fifth on the points table with four points from four games, while Australia are first with a perfect eight points from their four encounters.

The West Indies will next tackle Bangladesh on Thursday.

West Indies Women Head Coach Courtney Walsh has revealed that confidence is high among his players but warns against complacency as the team prepares for its upcoming clash against India on Friday.

The West Indies Women went into the tournament as underdogs but defeated New Zealand and defending champions England in their first two matches to put themselves in a great position to advance to the next round of the competition.

According to Walsh, who spoke with the media on Wednesday, the ladies are feeling good about themselves.

“The girls are very happy. They are in a very good place with those two wins,” Walsh revealed.

“When you beat New Zealand in New Zealand for the first time and then a win against England for the first time in a World Cup game and they are two teams that are ranked above us, obviously you must take some pride in that, so the ladies are very happy with that.”

However, he warned that there is no place for overconfidence so they must work to keep themselves grounded.

“They really worked hard to achieve those victories and it’s going to give us a lot of confidence. The one thing we want to try and do now is to ensure that we don’t get too complacent, just take each game as it comes but we will go into every game with a lot more self-belief and giving it everything that we have,” he said.

Walsh will be hoping his words find fertile ground among his players as they will be coming up against a talented Indian team still smarting from their 62-run defeat to New Zealand on Thursday.

New Zealand sealed back-to-back victories after a disciplined bowling performance helped them bowl out India for 198, after setting them a target of 261 to chase.

It was a slow start for the Indian openers Yastika Bhatia and Smriti Mandhana, with runs hard to come by.  The pressure paid off as Jess Kerr dismissed Mandhana for 6, with the opener chipping it straight to cover. Deepti Sharma also couldn't last long, with Lea Tahuhu trapping her lbw for 5 in what turned out to be a successful review as India slipped to 26/2.

Bhatia, joined by Mithali Raj, failed to up the tempo as the hosts kept up the disciplined line and length. Bhatia would finally perish for 28, with a leading-edge to cover, as Tahuhu celebrated her second scalp. Raj would be joined by Harmanpreet Kaur, with a tall task ahead for the two veteran Indian batters.

After 25 overs, India were 75/3 in their chase of 261, with a mountain to climb. 

As Raj started to up the ante, she was outfoxed by a tossed-up delivery by Amelia Kerr, with the Indian skipper walking back for 31 off 56 deliveries. The very next delivery from Kerr would reap the wicket of Richa Ghosh for a duck – a beautiful wrong'un bowling the Indian batter. 

India would stutter along for the next few overs, with Harmanpreet and Sneh Rana failing to accelerate, as the required rate kept on climbing up. Tahuhu would scalp her third in 37th over, sending Rana packing for 18 with a short delivery. Vastrakar also couldn't contribute much with the bat, perishing against Hannah Rowe for 6.

With the match all but slipped away, Harmanpreet started unleashing a flurry of shots, bringing up her half-century. There were a couple of massive hits before she went for one too many, holing out to long-off after an entertaining knock of 71 off only 63 deliveries.

Jhulan Goswami and Meghna Singh would open up their arms and clear the boundaries, but it was a case of too little and too late for India. They would be bowled out for 198, losing the match by 62 runs. The result gave New Zealand another crucial two points, making it two wins in three for the White Ferns.

At the backend of their bowling innings, India fought back brilliantly after Amy Satterthwaite with a half-century had given the White Ferns a perfect platform. The left-hander was joined by wicket-keeper Katey Martin, promoted to No.6 to launch at the backend of the innings. Satterthwaite took 60 balls to reach fifty, also ticking over a fifty partnership with Maddy Green in the process.

Alongside Martin, Satterthwaite would stitch another crucial 49-run stand as New Zealand etched closer to mounting a big score on the board.

Martin got a second life as Pooja Vastrakar spilled a simple catch off the bowling of Rajeshwari Gayakwad in the 42nd over, but she made up for it in the very next over, dismissing Satterthwaite who was trying to chip the ball with an on-drive, Satterthwaite could only find Mithali Raj at mid-wicket. This brought to an end a brilliant knock of 75 in 84 deliveries. 

The wicket helped India mount a late fightback in the death overs. Hayley Jensen would depart, failing in her attempt to sweep Gayakwad and getting her off-stump knocked over. 

Vastrakar then delivered a cracking 47th over, in which she took consecutive wickets and was on a hat-trick. Tahuhu was first bowled by a brilliant yorker on 1. On the very next delivery, Vastrakar again delivered a sizzling yorker, with the ball deflecting off Jess Kerr's pads as she was bowled for a duck. Frances Mackay managed to dig the third yorker in a row out as Vastrakar missed out on a sensational feat. 

Katey Martin's valuable knock of 41 came to an end in the final over as Goswami knocked her over. With the wicket, Goswami became the joint-highest wicket-taker in Women's World Cup history, joining Lynette Ann Fullston at the top with 39 scalps. 

Goswami would only concede 5 in the final over as the New Zealand innings came to an end at 260/9. 

 

West Indies Women have defeated New Zealand and England in their first two matches in the ICC Women’s World Cup currently underway in New Zealand. They have done so without significant contributions with the bat from two of their big three – Captain Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin.

In their opening match against the hosts on March 4, the West Indies scored 259-9 thanks mainly to Hayley Matthews’ sublime 119. However, Dottin who opened the innings with her, made only 12 while Taylor scored 30.

In the second match against England on March 9, Dottin made 31 and Taylor 0 as the West Indies made 225-6. In that match that the West Indies dramatically won by seven runs, it was Shemaine Campbelle’s 66 and Chedean Nation’s unbeaten 49 that spurred the West Indies to their winning total.

However, despite the relative lack of runs from two of the big three, Head Coach Courtney Walsh said he was not overly concerned about the misfiring duo expressing confidence that they will eventually come good.

“In the two games we have played we have gotten competitive scores. Obviously,  you would want to see Stafanie firing and a Diandra firing but if they can fire at the right time for us while Hayley and the others are carrying the batting, then that is good, so I am not much perturbed their chance will come and when it comes you want them to step up,” Walsh said during a media session Wednesday.

“So it’s good when the like of Campbelle and Nation can step up to the plate and prove their worth. I would like for Kycia Knight to get a decent score as well to give her some confidence. She came into the competition with some runs from the previous tour and in the warm-up games so I think she just needs a decent score to give her some confidence and if we can get that then the batting would be showing a lot more solidarity, but I am not overly concerned.”

What is troubling the fast-bowling great turned coach is the number of catches the West Indies Women have put down in their two matches so far. As many as nine catches have been floored by the Caribbean women, some of which have proved costly.

Chinelle Henry dropped New Zealand middle-order batter Sophie Devine early in her innings and the player capitalized in the best possible way scoring 108. Henry eventually redeemed herself when she caught Devine off her own bowling to pave the way for the West Indies' narrow three-run win.

Walsh admitted Wednesday that the number of dropped catches is a worry.

“I am a little more concerned about the number of dropped catches because can’t keep dropping so many catches, it might come back to haunt us and hurt us,” he said.

“We have taken some fantastic ones as well so we don’t want to write that off but I am a little more concerned about the catches we have been putting down; if it’s the conditions or we’re just not backing ourselves but I think the effort they have shown in yesterday’s game, even though we still put down a couple, it shows that they are still committed to trying to take these catches and I am happy with that.

“It might be a little bit cold on the fingers but we have to do what we have to do when we get out to play.”

 

 

 

A brilliant century from Hayley Matthews and miraculous death bowling from Deandra Dottin led the West Indies Women to a stunning 3-run victory over New Zealand to open the ICC Women’s World Cup at Mount Maunganui on Friday.

In a wonderful advert for women's cricket, the all-around entertaining affair got the thrilling ending it merited.  With the West Indies needing to defend just 6 runs in the last over, Dottin, who has hardly been seen with the ball over the last few months, stepped up to take 2 for 2, and also effected a run-out, to finally wrap up brave New Zealand resistance in her only over of the match. 

The result meant the West Indies had successfully defended 259 for 9, their third-highest total ever recorded at the tournament.

Earlier, a brilliant 119 of 128 from Matthews, who was named the player of the match, set the stage for the West Indies triumph.  Unexpectedly returning to the top of the order after Rashada Williams was ruled out of the match due to concussion protocol, Matthews hit 16 fours and a six, dispatching New Zealand’s bowlers to all parts of the ground while proving to be the stable catalyst the West Indies needed.

Dottin, who opened with Matthews, had promised a similar type of performance but was sent packing after hitting three fours and skying another attempt to Jess Kerr after playing across the line off Lea Tahuhu. 

With Kycia Knight then departing for just 5, Matthews formed a crucial 66-run partnership with captain Stafanie Taylor, which helped the West Indies reach 100 at a steady five runs an over.  The partnership was broken when Taylor was caught behind after clipping off Tahuhu. 

It was, however, one only of three partnerships Matthews would be involved in as she also paired with Shemaine Campbelle and Chedean Nation to glue the team’s innings together. 

Matthews was eventually dismissed going after Kerr as Hannah Rowe held on to the catch in the deep.  Nation's 46-ball 36 and then Anisa Mohammed's six-ball 11, however, added valuable runs for the team at the end of the innings.  Tahuhu was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with 3 for 57, while Kerr claimed 2 for 43.

In pursuit, Sophie Devine struck a magnificent century to keep New Zealand's chase on track, for the most part, and Katey Martin and Kerr's quickfire 40-run partnership brought it down to run-a-ball for the last over before the timely intervention of Dottin.

The West Indies Women open their Women’s ICC World Cup campaign against New Zealand tonight in poor batting form and Captain Stafanie Taylor believes that if the team is to be competitive, they have to turn that form around and bat with better consistency.

In two warm-up matches against Australia and India, the West Indies Women failed to score 200 runs each time losing by 90 and 81 runs, respectively. And while Head Coach Courtney Walsh preferred to focus on the positives, the realities of the situation are that if they are to do well, they have to produce scores well above 200 runs consistently.

Those thoughts were communicated at a recent team meeting.

"We had our meeting and we said that to be competitive we have to be scoring over two hundred runs," Taylor said in a pre-match interview. "In the two games that we played, we didn't do so. So that's something that we've had a look at and, moving forward, that's something that we need to work at."

Taylor believes the players need to spend time at the crease building innings that will give the team opportunities to get big scores that will give them better chances against Australia, India and tonight’s opponents, New Zealand.

"When it comes down to the longer format, we just need to spend more time out there in the middle. That's an area that we've been falling down a lot in, rotating the strike and try to build more partnerships. We haven't been building a lot of partnerships so hence the reason why we keep falling down in that department," Taylor argued while acknowledging that there has been less dependence of batters like Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews and her, to get runs.

In recent times, players like Kycia Knight and Chedean Nation have been getting good scores but other batters still need to step up with greater frequency, Taylor said.

"The other batters are starting to contribute. What we need to do is be in that collective in each game, be consistent. That's something that I've talked about a lot, being consistent, not just one or two batters always performing and probably looking at how teams are playing, a lot more fifties, batters stepping up and taking that responsibility. As batters we have to do that more consistently," Taylor said.

West Indies suffered an 81-run loss to India in their second ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup warm-up match in Rangiora on Tuesday.

India won the toss and decided to bat first, getting to 258 all out from their 50 overs with Smriti Madhana top-scoring, with 66 off 67 balls, and Deepti Sharma getting 51 from 64 deliveries.

Cherry Ann-Fraser (2-24 off 5 overs), Karishma Ramharack (2-50 off 10 overs), and Hayley Matthews (2-47 off 8 overs) were the best bowlers for the Windies.

Despite a top score of 63 from Shemaine Campbelle and 44 from Hayley Matthews, the West Indies chase never got out of first gear and they were eventually restricted to 177-9 off their 50 overs.

Pooja Vastrakar was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3-21 off seven overs while Meghna Smith, Deepti Sharma, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad all took two wickets each.

The West Indies will kick off their World Cup campaign on Thursday against hosts New Zealand at Mount Maunganui.

 

South Africa secured a drawn series with New Zealand as they clinched a 198-run win on the final day of the second Test in Christchurch.

New Zealand began day five on 94-4 but their hopes of holding on to seal a series win were dashed by the Proteas' attack.

Devon Conway was the man holding the New Zealand second innings together, resuming unbeaten on 60.

But he fell eight runs shy of a century and his exit opened the floodgates as the emerging Marco Jansen excelled with the ball and Keshav Maharaj claimed the final wicket to ensure the spoils were shared.

Lutho Sipamla removed Conway when he trapped him lbw with a full delivery and the Black Caps' resistance was never the same thereafter.

Tom Blundell (44) missed out on a half-century and, more importantly, removed himself as a set batsman when his half-hearted pull shot off Jansen only went as far as Temba Bavuma at midwicket.

Left-armer Jansen then removed Colin de Grandhomme, scorer of an unbeaten century in the first innings, with a short ball, leaving the tail to try to prolong the inevitable.

Kagiso Rabada ran to deep leg side to help Jansen secure his third by dismissing Kyle Jamieson before Rabada got in the act himself, drawing an edge to midwicket from Tim Southee.

Rain arrived to frustrate South Africa and force umpires to call an early tea, but the Proteas' wait for the decisive wicket was ended when Maharaj trapped Matt Henry in front for a duck.

More Marco magic

After being limited to two wickets in the first Test, Jansen was back to more prolific form here, following up 4-98 in the first innings with 3-63 in the second. He has taken at least five wickets in all but one of his five Test matches and claimed seven in three of his last four.

Rabada (3-46) finished with eight wickets in the match while spinner Maharaj provided crucial support with 3-75.

Elgar stays unbeaten

Having overseen a victory in the West Indies and a home win over India, a drawn series in New Zealand means Dean Elgar is still yet to lose a series as South Africa captain. If a young attack keeps performing at this level, he will be able to look forward to plenty more victories.

Despite losing by 90 runs to Australia in their warm-up match on the weekend, West Indies Women Captain Stafanie Taylor remains optimistic about how well her team will perform during the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup campaign.

That said, she opined that she doesn’t mind if the 2016 champions are considered underdogs this time around, saying that the team is a good space and is focused on the task at hand and that they won’t be letting anything distract them from taking the tournament one game at a time.

“I think we're in a really good space at the moment. The two practice games are for us to focus on ourselves and work on ourselves before the first official game against New Zealand,” Taylor said.

“We don't mind being underdogs. It’s good that we don’t get too ahead of ourselves, and some people don't look at us being a 50-over team, but I’ve seen us getting better and better so that's a plus for us.”

The West Indies Women will take on India in the second of their two warm-up games at the Rangiora Oval in Christchurch on Tuesday.

South Africa need six wickets on the final day for victory after Kyle Verreynne's maiden Test century left New Zealand needing to pull off a record run chase in the second Test.

New Zealand will resume on day five at 94-4, trailing by 332 runs after the Proteas declared at 354-9, setting the Black Caps an improbable target of 426 to win.

If the Proteas manage to clinch victory, it will deny New Zealand their first-ever Test series victory over South Africa after dominating the first Test at the same venue, Hagley Oval, last week.

New Zealand faced 42 overs after Dean Elgar's declaration late in the middle session, with Kagiso Rabada adding two more wickets to his first-innings five-wicket haul, while Keshav Maharaj also claimed two dismissals.

Verreynne was crucial to South Africa establishing complete dominance having resumed on day four at 5-140, with an overall lead of 211 runs.

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman was the perennial figure as the Proteas added 214 runs to their overnight score, with handy contributions from Wiann Mulder (35) and Kagiso Rabada (47), whose knock came from 34 balls and was a career high with the bat.

Verreynne and Rabada combined for a 78-run eighth-wicket stand which took the life out of New Zealand, who had hoped for a final-innings target no greater than 300.

Shortly after Rabada was dismissed, Verreynne brought up his maiden Test century swiping a length ball wide of fine leg.

Verreynne finished unbeaten on 136, with Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner all claiming two wickets each.

Tasked with a record run chase, New Zealand's pursuit started disastrously with Rabada dismissing Will Young and Tom Latham in the first and third overs. New Zealand were soon 25-3 when Maharaj - who sent down 16 overs in a row - bowled Henry Nicholls.

Devon Conway (60*) and Daryl Mitchell steadied the innings but Maharaj dismissed the latter for 24 late in the day.

Record run chase required

South Africa's declaration left New Zealand needing an unlikely 426 to win, which exceeds the current fourth-innings world record chase of 418 by West Indies against Australia in St John's in 2003. With the Black Caps four down, that is unlikely to be threatened.

Verreynne firming as worthy de Kock's successor

Verreynne's opportunity in the Proteas line-up has come following Quinton de Kock's premature retirement and he is beginning to prove he is the future for South Africa after only six Tests.

South Africa needs six wickets on the final day for victory after Kyle Verreynne's maiden Test century left New Zealand needing to pull off a record run chase in the second Test.

New Zealand will resume on day five at 94-4, trailing by 332 runs after the Proteas declared at 354-9, setting the Black Caps an improbable target of 426 to win.

If the Proteas manage to clinch victory, it will deny New Zealand their first-ever Test series victory over South Africa after dominating the first Test at the same venue, Hagley Oval, last week.

New Zealand faced 42 overs after Dean Elgar's declaration late in the middle session, with Kagiso Rabada adding two more wickets to his first-innings five-wicket haul, while Keshav Maharaj also claimed two dismissals.

Verreynne was crucial to South Africa establishing complete dominance having resumed on day four at 5-140, with an overall lead of 211 runs.

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman was the perennial figure as the Proteas added 214 runs to their overnight score, with handy contributions from Wiann Mulder (35) and Kagiso Rabada (47), whose knock came from 34 balls and was a career high with the bat.

Verreynne and Rabada combined for a 78-run eighth-wicket stand which took the life out of New Zealand, who had hoped for a final-innings target no greater than 300.

Shortly after Rabada was dismissed, Verreynne brought up his maiden Test century swiping a length ball wide of fine leg.

Verreynne finished unbeaten on 136*, with Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner all claiming two wickets each.

Tasked with a record run chase, New Zealand's pursuit started disastrously with Rabada dismissing Will Young and Tom Latham in the first and third overs. New Zealand were soon 25-3 when Maharaj  - who sent down 16 overs in a row - bowled Henry Nicholls.

Devon Conway (60*) and Daryl Mitchell steadied the innings but Maharaj dismissed the latter for 24 late in the day.

Record run chase required

South Africa's declaration left New Zealand needing an unlikely 426 to win, which exceeds the current fourth-innings world record chase of 418 by the West Indies against Australia in St John's in 2003. With the Black Caps four down, that is unlikely to be threatened.

Verreynne firming as worthy de Kock's successor

Verreynne's opportunity in the Proteas line-up has come following Quinton de Kock's premature retirement and he is beginning to prove he is the future for South Africa after only six Tests.

New Zealand rallied led by Colin de Grandhomme's century but South Africa remain well placed with a 211-run lead after three days of the second Test at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

The Proteas reached stumps at 140-5 with Kyle Verreyne (22*) and Wiaan Mulder (10*) at the crease after securing a 71-run first-innings advantage having bowled out the hosts for 293 led by Kagiso Rabada's five-wicket haul

New Zealand had resumed trailing by more than 200 runs with five wickets in hand, but de Grandhomme's 133-run sixth-wicket stand with Daryl Mitchell narrowed the deficit.

De Grandhomme remained unbeaten 120*, notching up his second Test century prior to lunch, after Mitchell was trapped lbw by Keshav Maharaj for 60.

Rabada (5-60) and Marco Jansen (4-98), who had employed a short-ball plan, finished off the Black Caps' resistance in the second session despite Neil Wagner's aggressive 21 from 18 balls that included three fours and a six.

New Zealand offered hope with three early breakthroughs, reducing South Africa to 38-3 with Tim Southee (2-28) dismissing both openers.

Southee trapped first-innings centurion Sarel Erwee lbw for 8 in the third over with an inswinger which the opener reviewed without success.

Tom Blundell pulled off a brilliant one-handed catch in the 11th over as Southee drew an edge from Dean Elgar bowling around the wicket.

Rassie van der Dussen steadied South Africa's innings with 45 before being caught and bowled by workhorse Wagner (2-44) who also took Temba Bavuma's wicket in the final session during a tireless spell.

Verreyne and Mulder took the Proteas' lead past 200, although New Zealand will remain hopeful of claiming the final five wickets promptly on day four and chasing a target below 300.

Black Caps remain hopeful

New Zealand are incredibly chasing their first-ever Test series victory over South Africa and would have been confident of achieving that after a dominant first Test triumph.

The Proteas are in control but de Grandhomme suggested there was hope within the camp. He said: "I think it's in the balance, they're a bit ahead, but if we can get a few quick wickets tomorrow, we can be back in it."

Rabada claims 11th Test five-fa

Rabada wrapped up the New Zealand batting innings with wickets from successive deliveries, utilizing the short ball for both dismissals.

The pair of wickets earned 26-year-old Rabada his 11th Test five-wicket haul but he is likely to have more work to do, ahead of the Black Caps' final-innings chase.

South Africa took control of the second Test in Christchurch on day two as Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen ripped through the New Zealand top order.

An unbeaten partnership of 66 between Colin de Grandhomme (54 not out) and Daryl Mitchell (29 not out) rescued the Black Caps from 91-5 after the tourists had reached 364 all out in their first innings.

The Proteas resumed on 238-3, but lost four wickets in the first session as Matt Henry and Neil Wagner picked up two each, before Wagner also dismissed Rabada (6) shortly after play resumed.

There was a brief rain delay during the second session that seemed to take the bowlers out of their rhythm as Jansen (37 not out) and Keshav Maharaj (36) added a handy partnership of 62 runs in 13 overs.

New Zealand's reply got off to the worst possible start as Rabada (3-37) struck twice to get rid of Tom Latham for a duck and Will Young for just three. Devon Conway (16) and Henry Nicholls (39) put up some resistance but both ultimately fell to poor shots against Jansen (2-48).

After Tom Blundell came and went, scoring six runs in his six balls, Mitchell and De Grandhomme set about trying to rescue things for their team.

Mitchell ticked over calmly while De Grandhomme hit a 36-ball 50, including two sixes, though was held up after that, mostly by Maharaj's dangerous spin as he scored just four more runs from his next 25 deliveries.

Dean Elgar burned his team's last review with the penultimate delivery of the day as Lutho Sipamla thought he had Mitchell lbw, but replays showed an inside edge as the hosts closed day two still 207 runs behind with five wickets remaining.

Jansen continues impressive start to Test career

This is just the fifth Test Jansen has played in but he is already stepping up in key moments, hitting an impressive 37 not out to add what could be crucial runs at the end of South Africa's first innings, before also doing damage with the ball.

The 21-year-old took an impressive 19 wickets in three Tests against India, and although he and his team-mates all struggled in the first Test in New Zealand, he in particular has come back with a bang at the Hagley Oval.

De Grandhomme rolls back the years

It was a difficult moment to arrive at the crease with his team still 273 runs behind and five wickets down, but the 35-year-old utilised his trademark aggression and attacked South Africa's bowlers, hitting the only two sixes of the Test so far.

This was De Grandhomme's ninth 50 of his Test career, but he has only gone on to score a century once (v West Indies in 2017). New Zealand could really do with him doubling that amount on day three.

South Africa bounced back from their insipid first Test performance with an impressive opening day to be 238-3 at stumps against New Zealand at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

Opener Sarel Erwee scored his maiden Test century in his second appearance, combining with skipper Dean Elgar for a 111-run first-wicket stand which set the tone for the day in the second Test.

The Black Caps had dominated the first Test in Christchurch, winning by an innings and 276 runs but the Proteas showed vastly more fight and application.

New Zealand were left frustrated with as many as five edges falling short in the slips with the pitch not as quick as the first Test, nor offering as much seam movement.

Elgar surprised many when he opted to bat after winning the toss but it proved a good call, making 41 alongside Erwee, before being bowled by a Tim Southee inswinger after getting through the first session unscathed.

Erwee brought up his maiden hundred with a boundary in the final over before tea, leaping into the air to celebrate.

Aidan Markram, who needed runs after a lean spell, was determined but lost focus and fell short of a half-century when Neil Wagner lured him into a drive which was caught by Daryl Mitchell at first slip for 42.

Erwee followed him back to the changerooms two balls later for 108, caught behind by Tom Blundell off Matt Henry from a loose drive.

Temba Bavuma survived two close calls in the same Henry over, with edges eluding the slips and racing away for boundaries.

After his nervy start, Bavuma eased the tension before getting through to stumps on 22* alongside Rassie van der Dussen (13*).

Patient Erwee navigates Black Caps 

Erwee brought up his half-century in the final over before lunch and then triple figures with four balls to go prior to tea. The 32-year-old left-hander patiently reached his century from 188 deliveries, with Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme combining for five consecutive maidens shortly prior to him achieving the elusive milestone. Erwee's stand with Elgar with South Africa's best opening partnership since December 2020.

Bold Elgar call pays off

Elgar's bold decision to bat raised some eyebrows, becoming the first captain to win the toss and not bowl at Hagley Oval. He also became the fourth skipper in the past 45 Tests played in New Zealand to win the toss and bat, remarkably coming after the Proteas were embarrassingly skittled for 95 and 111 in the first Test.

South Africa bounced back from their insipid first Test performance with an impressive opening day to be 238-3 at stumps against New Zealand at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

Opener Sarel Erwee scored his maiden Test century in his second appearance, combining with skipper Dean Elgar for a 111-run first-wicket stand which set the tone for the day in the second Test.

The Black Caps had dominated the first Test in Christchurch, winning by an innings and 276 runs but the Proteas showed vastly more fight and application.

New Zealand were left frustrated with as many as five edges falling short in the slips with the pitch not as quick as the first Test, nor offering as much seam movement.

Elgar surprised many when he opted to bat after winning the toss but it proved a good call, making 41 alongside Erwee, before being bowled by a Tim Southee inswinger after getting through the first session unscathed.

Erwee brought up his maiden hundred with a boundary in the final over before tea, leaping into the air to celebrate.

Aidan Markram, who needed runs after a lean spell, was determined but lost focus and fell short of a half-century when Neil Wagner lured him into a drive which was caught by Daryl Mitchell at first slip for 42.

Erwee followed him back to the changerooms two balls later for 108, caught behind by Tom Blundell off Matt Henry from a loose drive.

Temba Bavuma survived two close calls in the same Henry over, with edges eluding the slips and racing away for boundaries.

After his nervy start, Bavuma eased the tension before getting through to stumps on 22* alongside Rassie van der Dussen (13*).

Patient Erwee navigates Black Caps 

Erwee brought up his half-century in the final over before lunch and then triple figures with four balls to go prior to tea. The 32-year-old left-hander patiently reached his century from 188 deliveries, with Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme combining for five consecutive maidens shortly prior to him achieving the elusive milestone. Erwee's stand with Elgar with South Africa's best opening partnership since December 2020.

Bold Elgar call pays off

Elgar's bold decision to bat raised some eyebrows, becoming the first captain to win the toss and not bowl at Hagley Oval. He also became the fourth skipper in the past 45 Tests played in New Zealand to win the toss and bat, remarkably coming after the Proteas were embarrassingly skittled for 95 and 111 in the first Test.

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