In the opening day of the first test at Bay Oval, New Zealand showcased their batting prowess with an impressive total of 258 for two against a depleted South African team. Rachin Ravindra notched his maiden test century, while Kane Williamson added his 30th, contributing to an unbroken stand of 219.
Opting to bowl after winning the toss, South Africa made early breakthroughs, with Tshepo Moreki dismissing Devon Conway in the second over. Dane Paterson removed Tom Blundell, but this brought the formidable duo of Ravindra and Williamson together. The pair exhibited patience against accurate seam-bowling from South Africa, remaining unbeaten at the close of play.
Ravindra, named ICC Emerging Player of the Year, expressed his joy at contributing to a successful day for the team, finishing the day at 118 not out, with Williamson on 112. Despite challenges from the opposition, the duo adapted to the conditions, showcasing the essence of test cricket.
Williamson, frustrated at one point, eventually reached his 34th half-century and converted it into a century with his 13th boundary. Ravindra, 24, received a life on 80 but made it count, reaching his hundred half an hour before stumps.
The Proteas team, featuring six debutants and captained by Neil Brand, looked different from the side that split a series with India. Cricket South Africa’s focus on the Twenty20 competition (SA20) influenced the team composition. Despite a commendable effort by the bowlers, New Zealand dominated the day, leaving four more days for the test match. The second test is scheduled in Hamilton from Feb 13.
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Generational Talent Rachin Ravindra smashes his first Double Century 💛🔥 pic.twitter.com/ye1z011EQq
— Beast (@Beast_xx_) February 5, 2024