South Africa rode the bowling masterclass of Marco Jansen and Kagiso Rabad to complete an exceptional turnaround in form, beating New Zealand by 198 runs in Tuesday’s second Test to level the two-match streak.
Remarkably, New Zealand won the first Test in Christchurch by an innings and 276 carries. After New Zealand set a target of 426, South Africa knocked out the hosts by 227 to win, with more than one session surviving at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval.
New Zealand were chasing a world-record goal of 426 runs and going on with 94 for four a.m., and there was a glimmer of hope they might salvage the match when wicketkeeper Tom Blundell and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme came to lunch at 180 for five.
However, resistance from the home side quickly eased after the break as both players threw away their wickets by dragging paceman Marco Jansen to the fielders.
Jansen and pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada worked through the rear with the second new ball before an untimely rain break brought an early tea as South Africa needed a wicket to win.
Spinner Keshav Maharaj sealed the win by catching Matt Henry lbw for a duck.
Man of the match Rabada said it was important his team got better after losing their opening game.
“It’s never easy playing against New Zealand and we knew what we had to do and I’m glad we did it,” he added.
“We didn’t rock at all in the first test… We knew we had to win that one, at least to make it 1-1.”
New Zealand seafarer Henry, who was named a Player of the Series, said the hosts were disappointed they did not pick up their first win in the Test series against the Proteas.
“Obviously we had high hopes for this game but you have to take my hat off to South Africa,” said Henry.
“I felt they came back very strongly and absolutely deserved the second Test.
“The stakes were high, I think… It really worked in their favor time and time again. We kept fighting, but in the end it just wasn’t quite there.”