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South Africa rise to 5th, New Zealand fall to 7th in Test team rankings

Kagiso Rabada South Africa
South African bowler Kagiso Rabada (R) celebrates the dismissal of New Zealand batsman Neil Wagner. (Photo by GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

The South Africa vs New Zealand Test series ended in favor of the hosts as the Proteas managed to beat the visitors by 204 runs on day 4 of the second Test to not just win the game but also the series. Having posted 481/8 decl. on the back of stand-in skipper Faf du Plessis’ century in the first innings the hosts also managed to get a 267-run lead in the first innings.

In their second knock though the New Zealand bowlers wrapped them up for a meager 132 however couldn’t prevent Quinton de Kock from scoring a half-century and Temba Bavuma from remaining unbeaten on 40 which eventually gave them the decisive lead. In New Zealand’s second innings Dale Steyn was on fire. And when he gets going the stumps fly around. This is exactly what happened as the top 4 of the Kiwi batters were back in the hut while only 7 runs were registered on the board.

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Henry Nicholas and wicketkeeper batsman BJ Watling held things together in the middle order with support from Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell and Tim Southee but they couldn’t hold the fort for long against Steyn, Vernon Philander and Kagiso Rabada. While the leader of the pace bowling attack returned with a five-wicket haul, both his deputies got a couple each.

It was an amazing game that was full of resistance in the first innings and bowling firepower in the second. The hosts, in the end, didn’t just secure the game but also the series and that has reflected immediately for them in the latest Test team rankings. Shortly after the conclusion of the game the International Cricket Council (ICC) posted the updated rankings on their Twitter account. It read- ‘South Africa rise to 5th, New Zealand fall to 7th in Test rankings after South Africa’s 1-0 series win’

Also read – SA v NZ 2nd Test Review – Dale Steyn powers South Africa to series win

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