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Verreynne fifty helps South Africa stretch lead past 300

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Kyle Verreynne compiled his maiden Test fifty as South Africa found themselves in a strong position by stretching their lead to 303 at Lunch on Day 4 of the Hagley Oval Test against New Zealand.

The home side began the session with the intent of making further inroads in order to restrict the lead. Just that the duo of Verreynne and Wiaan Mulder didn't just wade through the opening spells of Matt Henry and Tim Southee but also collected useful runs to put the pressure right back on the home team.

With the old Kookaburra at their disposal, New Zealand's pace bowlers - Southee, Henry, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner - were intent on banging it short. However, with the conditions turning out to be decent for batting, Verreynne and Mulder employed the pull shot to good effect. Verreynne in particular crunched the pull quite a few times to keep the scorecard ticking over.

The pair also essayed the occasional glance and drive to frustrate the hosts. In the 67th over, Jamieson then found just enough movement to induce Mulder to edge one behind with Tom Blundell pouching a fine catch.

After losing his batting partner, Verreynne constructed another useful alliance of 27 with Marco Jansen. Jansen was more intent on defence as he looked to give Verreynne company. On the other hand, the 'keeper-batter brought out the cut to negate the threat of Wagner's shorter length deliveries.

At the stroke of Lunch break, Will Young took a one-handed blinder at midwicket to send Jansen back to the hut as the visitors lost their seventh wicket. Verreynne, though, continued to play horizontal-bat shots through the off-side against Wagner. On occasions, Verreynne didn't find the middle of the bat while attempting the cut stroke, but he backed his ability to crack horizontal-bat shots and helped his side add vital runs in the opening session.

Brief Scores: South Africa 364 (Sarel Erwee 108, Aiden Markram 42; Neil Wagner 4-104, Matt Henry 3-90) & 232/7 (Kyle Verreynne 76*; Tim Southee 2-46) lead New Zealand 293 (Colin de Grandhomme 120, Daryl Mitchell 60; Kagiso Rabada 5-60, Marco Jansen 4-98) by 303 runs

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