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New Zealand strike back after Rabada five-fer


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Led by Tim Southee's double strike, New Zealand reduced South Africa to 42 for 3 at Tea on Day 3, after conceding a 71-run lead in the first innings at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Earlier in the session, Kagiso Rabada's fifer had bundled out the hosts for 293. Resuming the second session on 253 for 7, New Zealand didn't keep South African on the field for too long. Marco Jansen snared the wicket of Tim Southee soon after Lunch but bore the brunt of Neil Wagner's counter attack. The duel between the two left-arm pacers continued on Sunday with roles reversed.

Jansen tested Wagner with short-pitched deliveries and the tail-ender was up to the challenge, pulling him with a full flow of the bat, and once even making room to lob the ball over the slip cordon. His 18-ball stay was enterprising but eventually, the pull shot brought about his downfall only an over before the second new ball was to be available. He became a victim to Rabada, who then also had Matt Henry caught for a first ball duck to end New Zealand's fight.

Colin de Grandhomme, who had registered his second Test century, remained unbeaten on 120. His innings, alongwith the 133-run stand he shared with Daryl Mitchell for the sixth wicket helped New Zealand come close to South Africa's first innings total of 364 after being reduced to 91 for 5 late on Day 2. The duo started the day in an attacking fashion, taking full toll of the erring lines of the South African pacers, who pitched too full too often on a surface that didn't have much assistance for the pacers.

Dean Elgar was, however, quick to employ the services of Keshav Maharaj, who troubled Mitchell and even Kyle Jamieson with his left-arm spin, especially the arm ball.

Having taken a healthy first innings lead, South Africa failed to strengthen their position. Both the openers were dismissed within the first hour of their innings. Sarel Erwee was trapped legbefore to a ball that straightened after pitching, while Dean Elgar became a victim of an acrobatic effort by Tom Blundell. Coming round the wicket, Southee induced an edge off the southpaw and it was superbly pouched by the wicketkeeper.

South Africa, much like in the first innings, remained on the defensive against the moving ball. However, New Zealand pacers found success much quicker on Sunday. Aiden Markram was undone by a Matt Henry yorker which had him cleaned up for 14 and handed the pacer his 50th Test wicket.

Brief Scores: South Africa 364 (Sarel Erwee 108, Aiden Markram 42; Neil Wagner 4-104, Matt Henry 3-90) & 42/3 lead New Zealand 293 (Colin de Grandhomme 120, Daryl Mitchell 60; Kagiso Rabada 5-60, Marco Jansen 4-98) by 113 runs

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