South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Aug 27-31, 2016 at Centurion

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South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Aug 27-31, 2016 at Centurion

Postby Leo » Thu Aug 25, 2016 2:37 am

Centurion Test turns decider after Durban washout

The two-match series between South Africa and New Zealand has become a one-match winner-takes-all, which seems small change for what could have been a series rich in context and competition. With powerful pace packs and batting line-ups that combine experience with experiments, the teams are well matched. Without the same avalanche of Test cricket the likes of England and India enjoy, they are also hungry for their share of the format. South Africa have not played Test cricket for seven months since January, five of New Zealand's previous six Test series were made up of just two matches. Although visiting coach Mike Hesson had the good grace to call the Centurion shootout exciting, home captain Faf du Plessis admitted it is not the ideal way to choose between the two teams.

"It's very disappointing in that you play a Test series that now becomes a one-off. You never really want to play Test cricket like that," du Plessis said. "Test cricket is always about longer, stronger contests over three matches or five matches. It's about who can do it for the longest period of time but now we have a one-off, which is a decider, and we are going to have to be on top of our game."

With only four sessions of play at Kingsmead, it was difficult for either side to fully find their focus. So fuzzy have the last few days been that Hesson even mistakingly called the opposition Sri Lanka, proof that he has been watching some cricket albeit not live. "We gathered a lot of information about the Sri Lankan batsmen in conditions that were quite challenging at time," he said, when asked what New Zealand had gained from curtailed first Test. "Sri Lankan did I say? Anyway, we gathered loads from the TV over the last few days."

Highlights of the play that was possible were on a loop on the local broadcaster, so no doubt Hesson would have seen the way his bowlers operated and the way his openers were dismissed several times. Several times. He did not delve too deeply into an analysis of the 99.4 overs save to say that he was mostly happy with the way his men bowled and looking forward to seeing his batsmen dig their way out of a hole - although he may have been secretly relieved that they did not have to.

"We learnt a lot from our lengths for when it swings; maybe adjusting our seam presentation just a little bit, some of the subtleties we can look to introduce and evolve our game," Hesson said. "From a batting point of view we were challenged in some tricky conditions, and that's going to be good for us moving forward."

New Zealand's line-up made use of the downtime in the Durban nets, which were unaffected, to tighten up their their techniques. South Africa also used the practice facilities, in lieu of no game time, and it would seem their concerns are greater, if only because they spent more time on the backfoot at Kingsmead.

A first-day performance which had them slip to 236 for 8 was riddled with familiar issues of batsmen who should know better - Dean Elgar, JP Duminy and Quinton de Kock - throwing their wickets away. Duminy is under particular pressure to perform, with no half-centuries from his last 10 completed Test innings, while even du Plessis - who was brought back to captain the side after being dropped against England at Centurion - will know he needs to take more responsibility as Stiaan van Zyl remains in the squad, ready to claim a middle-order place.

"We were very disappointed not getting 300 or 350 - that would have been par on a wicket like that," du Plessis said. "We got ourselves into positions where we just needed one guy to bat a bit longer and to get a 75 or 100-plus score."

Elgar escapes the spotlight because, together with Stephen Cook, he kept Tim Southee and Trent Boult at bay for 14 overs. "Our opening pair had a real solid partnership upfront against a high quality seam attack," du Plessis said. "They were really patient and played with real authority."

More pleasing for South Africa is the way their new-ball bowling pair performed. Tom Latham and Martin Guptill survived just 6.2 overs together in which each ball from Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander looked more threatening than the one before. "The bowling was fantastic. The guys were relentless in hitting excellent areas, they didn't give the New Zealand batsmen any free runs and that's what experience does in a Test line-up," du Plessis said.

Steyn and Philander found significant seam movement on a surface with a substantial grass covering in Durban and, with overhead cloud dominating the day, fast-bowling fans were denied more of a show. They will be disappointed to learn that may not be the case at SuperSport Park, where winter conditions could provide a more docile pitch.

Groundsman Rudolph du Preez has spent double the time he usually does - 20 days instead of ten - preparing the surface, and expects it will hold up well over the five days but may not take much turn. "It might not deteriorate as we are used to. It might be a little bit slower, it might be holding back a bit more," he said.

But the pitch is not where eyes will be trained; in the aftermath of the first Test, more attention will be paid to the outfield. Like Kingsmead, SuperSport Park was also relaid this winter but work in Centurion took place much earlier than in Durban. The process was completed in April - Durban had to wait until June because of the scheduling of the Comrades Marathon which finishes at Kingsmead on May 29 - and those who have been to SuperSport Park since say it looks in peak condition. If this series it to become about the cricket again, it needs to be.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/south-afric ... 49555.html
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Re: South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Aug 27-31, 2016 at Centurion

Postby Boycs » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:00 pm

South Africa marching along, another fifty for Amla and 82 for de Koch

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Re: South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Aug 27-31, 2016 at Centurion

Postby Leo » Tue Aug 30, 2016 3:56 am

Wicket is getting harder to bat. South Africa got lead of 372 runs.

Almost impossible for New Zealand to win or even make a draw in this match.
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Re: South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Aug 27-31, 2016 at Centurion

Postby Leo » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:06 am

Target 400 for New Zealand.

Good Luck :up:
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Re: South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Aug 27-31, 2016 at Centurion

Postby mukeshkr » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:58 am

South Africa going to resisted his 1st win in this test Series.

RSA 481/8 decl, 132/7 decl
NZ 214, 54/4 (22.5 Ovs) CRR: 2.36
Day 4: 2nd Session - New Zealand need 346 runs
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Re: South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Aug 27-31, 2016 at Centurion

Postby Leo » Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:06 am

Congratulations South Africa.
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Re: South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Test, Aug 27-31, 2016 at Centurion

Postby Going South » Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:12 pm

Yawn!