Faf du Plessis-led South African team registers their victory by eight wickets over New Zealand in the second Test with two days to spare on Saturday. In the victory, the all-rounder Keshav Maharaj and JP Duminy took 12 of the home side’s 20 wickets.
Maharaj claimed 6/40 in the second innings‚ which is the best figures by a South African slow bowler in a test innings since 2003 and the first time a Saffer spinner had taken six in an innings since 2009.
The left-arm orthodox bowler picked up 13 wickets at an average of 13.92 in the two Tests against New Zealand. As per the reports of ‘Sports live’, Maharaj said, “Being a spinner of minimal variation I have to rely on consistency. I was just trying to stay as consistent as possible to try and help the captain.”
South African captain Faf du Plessis surprised by his spinner Maharaj’s success. He stated, “It was surprising given the conditions‚ which were cold and with not a lot of spin. But I thought both spinners bowled incredibly well. Their control and consistency meant the New Zealand batsmen just couldn’t get away. Their run rates were very low‚ and the pressure that created created chances for wickets.”
The skipper further added, “When spinners are contributing like that it makes the seamers’ lives much easier‚ especially with us having to rotate the seamers quite often because we only have three.”
When asked what had Maharaj added to South Africa’s attack in his six tests? Du Plessis replied, “Control. That sums it up - he doesn’t bowl a lot of bad balls and if you look at the best spinners - [Rangana] Herath‚ [Ravindra] Jadeja‚ [Nathan] Lyon‚ [Ravichandran] Ashwin‚ they don’t bowl a lot of bad balls. Keshav has brought that consistency.”
A strong southerly wind blew for most of the day and sent temperatures plummeting‚ promoting the Proteas players and even the on-field umpires to wrap up as warm as the rules allowed and to resort to using hand-warmers.
Du Plessis accepted, “It was a challenge for us. What we asked for this morning were real hard cricketers. Mentally we needed to be very strong‚ needed to be ready to be challenged and pushed to extremes because they’re not conditions we are used to.”
He further added, “There were no excuses; the wind‚ the cold were never going to be excused. We needed real‚ hard test cricket and that’s what the players produced.”
The third test of the three-match Test series will be played between South Africa and New Zealand from 25 March 2017 at Seddon Park in Hamilton.