South African Cricket Tour Of New Zealand Underway
The South Africa tour of New Zealand is currently underway, featuring a two-match Test series at Bay Oval, Tauranga. This is a crucial series for both teams, as it’s part of the 2023-2025 ICC World Test Championship. South Africa is entering the series with a strong performance against India, winning 2-1.
- New Zealand, however, has the home advantage and a good record against South Africa in recent years.
Fans had previously flocked to social media after the selection of the South African Proteas squad, calling it a “C” team due to the unavailability of most of the national players who are away playing in the Betway SA20 tournament. “It is what it is. It is a wonderful opportunity for this team that has been selected. A lot of these players have excellent first-class records and sometimes in life, opportunities come in different ways,” said Bowling coach Piet Botha.
- The series is being contested for the Tangiwai Shield, commemorating a tragic train accident in 1953. New Zealand dominated Day 1 with centuries from Kane Williamson and Rachin Ravindra, who posted a double hundred. South Africa struggled in reply, but Aiden Markram and Keegan Petersen are currently providing some resistance.
- The South African squad for the New Zealand tour features only two players from the 2022 drawn series: Olivier and Zubayr Hamza. Their previous involvement was limited to the Christchurch Test, where South Africa unfortunately recorded their lowest-ever total against New Zealand. “Yes, it has been quite a while since I have been part of the national setup. Last time I was part of the Proteas was two years ago here in New Zealand, so it is an exciting time for me. I am looking forward to the challenges ahead,” said Hamza.
“It is part of the motivation for us. I mean we haven’t lost a series against NZ since the 1930s and we know what is expected of us and we are very motivated to play for the badge,” said Botha.
- The match is still evenly poised, with New Zealand holding a significant lead but South Africa looking to fight back. Rachin Ravindra scored his maiden double hundred in Test cricket, becoming only the 4th New Zealander to do so. Kane Williamson also scored a century, putting New Zealand in a strong position.
- New Zealand currently has a commanding lead of 382 runs after posting a massive first innings total. South Africa struggled in their first innings, being bowled out for 162, but showed more fight in the second innings. They still need 204 runs to avoid the follow-on and a much larger total to realistically challenge for victory.
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