South Africa outwitted and outplayed New Zealand in a crushing 198-run second Test victory in Christchurch on Tuesday to draw the two-match series 1-1. New Zealand, set a record 426 target to win, were all out in their second innings for 227 eight balls after tea on the final day.
It completed a remarkable turnaround for South Africa who read the conditions far better than New Zealand after being thrashed by an innings and 276 runs in the first Test on the same ground.
Captain Dean Elgar demanded his side “front up” after that humiliation and they obliged.
A century by Sarel Erwee laid the base for a first innings 364, Kagiso Rabada took five for 60 as New Zealand folded 71 in arrears and an unbeaten 136 from Kyle Verreynne in the second innings tightened the clamp on New Zealand.
New Zealand started the final day at 94 for four and while Devon Conway and Tom Blundell were at the crease they held hope they could salvage a draw.
But it was a forlorn hope and their 85-run partnership ended shortly before lunch when Conway went leg before wicket for 92.
New Zealand hopes of salvaging a draw rose again at 227 for nine when rain forced the players from the field, but it was a brief respite.
The South African-born Conway, who averages a remarkable 63.91 from 12 innings, had added 32 to his overnight 60 and was in sight of his fourth Test century when Lutho Sipamla claimed the wicket with a pinpoint yorker.
Blundell pressed on with Colin de Grandhomme and went to lunch looking set on 44 only to be removed soon after the resumption without adding to his score.
He mistimed striking a short ball from Marco Jansen and skied it to Temba Bavuma at midwicket.
It started a rich spell for Jansen who also took the wickets of Colin de Grandhomme for 18 and Kyle Jamieson for 12.
Kagiso Rabada removed Tim Southee and Keshav Maharaj ended the match with Matt Henry lbw for nought.
It was a disappointing result for New Zealand after their comprehensive win in the first Test and who were searching for a first ever series win against South Africa.
They went into the Test with an unchanged side, relying on a pace attack and no spinner which has become customary on the usually emerald Hagley Oval wicket.
But South Africa noted the second Test wicket was more khaki than green, promoted left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj into the starting eleven and he became a significant point of difference.
Maharaj set the stage in the second innings when he was introduced early and bowled top-order batsmen Henry Nicholls and Daryl Mitchell after Rabada had claimed openers Tom Latham and Will Young.
He then finished off the Test with Henry’s wicket to leave New Zealand yet again without a series win over South Africa after 17 attempts over 90 years.
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