South Africa bounced back from a terrible batting performance in the Test series opener to put on a strong show on Day 1 of the 2nd Test against New Zealand at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval. Led by hundreds of rookie opener Sarel Erwee, the visitors hit 283/3 in Stumps on Friday, leaving the scars of 95 all-outs in the first innings of their first New Zealand Test loss.
Erwee managed just 10 runs on his debut in a tough loss to the hosts in last week’s series opener, but the left-hander bounced back brilliantly, fending off New Zealand’s disciplined close-range attack to not be out 100 on a glorious afternoon at Hagley Oval .
Aiden Markram, number three, who spared the ax despite terrible form, made 42 before falling to Nel Wagner after captain Dean Elgar hit 41 in a 111-run opening stand with Erwee.
Rassie van der Dussen (13*) and Temba Bavuma (22*) remained unbeaten as South Africa look to build on their solid start and complete a challenging overall.
ELGAR AND ERWEE IN RECORD OPENING STAND
The breakthrough ended the opening partnership with 111 runs, South Africa’s first over 100 since 2012 when Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith scored 138 in the second inning against Australia at the Adelaide Oval.
Elgar and Erwee’s stand was also a record for a visiting team’s opening games at the Christchurch ground.
Erwee, 32, brought up his century in the pre-lunch final, drawing Neil Wagner to the fence after enduring five maid overs and a jittery spell in the ’90s.
He ripped off his helmet and clenched his fist as a small crowd on the ground gave warm applause.
South Africa made three changes, bringing in all-rounder Wiaan Mulder, spinner Keshav Maharaj and paceman Lutho Sipamla.
Batsman Zubayr Hamza was ruled out with a broken thumb while Tempo bowlers Duanne Olivier and Glenton Stuurman were dropped.
New Zealand, missing captain Kane Williamson and pace spearhead Trent Boult, stayed with the same 11 that dominated in the series opener as they attempted to complete their first series win over the Proteas.
While a draw is enough for New Zealand to win the series, a win would see them oust Australia as the world’s number one Test team and bolster their defense at the World Cup in the maximum-scoring Test.