NZ v SA 3rd Test, Day 3 Review: Kane Williamson battles it out as the Kiwis overtake Proteas total
Updated - Mar 27, 2017 1:16 pm
The third Test between New Zealand and South Africa has been partially owned by the rain but there still has been cricket on offer for all the fans. After losing the second Test and rain playing spoilsport in the third, New Zealand finally had a better day. They batted beautifully to overtake the South African total.
Kiwis finished day two on a positive note with 67 runs lead on the board and no wickets lost, day three was going to be the most important day in the Test match. With both the openers intact, it only meant runs for New Zealand right through. The day, however, started moist with the first hour of play lost due to bad weather. After the play kick started on day three, New Zealand were not going to hold back, there seemed intent and application from batters right from ball one.
Tom Latham had scored 42 runs on day 2 and only added eight more on day 3 before edging one to Quinton de Kock after bringing up his fifty. The real fight from New Zealand started right when the captain Kane Williamson came in to bat. He was in the mood for a big score and was not going to give bowlers any advantage.
Jeet Raval looked extremely solid as he was taking his innings forward run by run and was in no hurry at all. Pitch was assisting the bowlers but as soon as the bowl lost its shine the batters took hold of the innings. Raval and Williamson batted brilliantly. The pair was at the crease for 58 overs and batted for two full sessions.
The South Africans were agitated in the field as they were unable to trouble the batsmen. It was as if they were waiting for the second new ball. Keshav Maharaj was not very effective and Vernon Philander’s accuracy was battled out by the batters. Raval added invaluable 88 runs as the skipper Kane Williamson cruised past his century. The duo webbed a massive 190 run partnership.
People are busy comparing Virat Kohli, Steven Smith, and Joe Root but this man from New Zealand is busy racking up records to his name. Williamson became the fastest man from New Zealand to score 5000 Test runs and also equaled the record for most Test centuries by a Kiwi. Both the records were held by the great Martin Crowe. Williamson scored his 17th Test century as he keeps breaking records while being under the shadows of the superstars of the game.
Jeet Raval, on the other hand, was busy with his wrists as he scored almost 50 of his 88 runs behind the wicket. No New Zealand opener has scored a century against the South Africans since 1953 and Jeet was right in the contention to break the jinx but this day was not to be. After being able to roll his wrists all afternoon Jeet somewhat lost his footing. He spent almost 25 deliveries on 83 before Morne Morkel ran over him.
It looked like New Zealand were running away with a huge lead when Kagiso Rabada who had a quiet day turned the heat on. He took two wickets in as many balls to give South Africans something to cheer. Neil Broom and Henry Nicholls couldn’t hang in there and Kane Williamson and Mitchell Santner had a task on their hands.
Santner could have gone back into the pavilion twice but his luck was on the right side for him today. Vernon Philander cleaned him only to have overstepped. The second time he could have been out leg before but the Proteas did not appeal. However, Santner and Williamson ended the day for New Zealand as they finished with a score of 321 for four. Kane Williamson is still out there batting on 148 while Santner has battled to 13.
Day four will be even more exciting if the weather holds itself. New Zealand will be hoping for a huge lead while South Africa will look to tame the opposition. Two huge days lie ahead for the hosts as their season is on the line.
South Africa – 314/10 89.2 Overs (Quinton de Kock 90, Faf du Plessis 53, Matt Henry 4/93, Wagner 3/104)
New Zealand – 321/4 104 Overs (Kane Williamson 148*; Morne Morkel 2/74)