CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand claimed a rare victory over South Africa on Saturday, wrapping up the first Test by a comprehensive innings and 276 runs in just seven sessions in Christchurch.
It is only the fifth time in 46 Tests since 1932 that New Zealand have beaten South Africa with their last victory coming in 2004.
“It’s a great day,” an elated captain Tom Latham said.
South Africa, who were 387 behind on the first innings, resumed the day at 34 for three and showed little appetite to chase down the total, losing their final seven wickets before lunch to be all out for 111.
Latham said winning the toss and putting South Africa in to bat was critical for New Zealand’s success.
The tourists crumbled in their first innings for 95 on a green wicket with Matt Henry bagging seven for 23.
A century by Henry Nicholls and a string of 50-plus partnerships saw New Zealand amass 482 in reply and the writing was on the wall for South Africa.
“Fingers crossed we can continue the momentum into the second Test match,” Latham said with New Zealand eyeing a first-ever series win against South Africa.
They achieved the victory in their first Test since 2008 without two of their greatest batsmen — Ross Taylor retired and Kane Williamson injured — and with strike bowler Trent Boult on paternity leave.
“It’s been a long time since we haven’t seen any of those three names who were a vital part of this side, but I guess it’s testament to the depth we’re creating,” Latham said.
A frustrated Proteas captain Dean Elgar could not explain the drop off in performance since South Africa won a series against India last month.
“It’s something I’m trying to wrap my head around,” he said.
“But I do feel our intensity was lacking during the last two and a bit days. We were totally outplayed by a classy New Zealand outfit.
“It’s extremely frustrating being the captain and the ball is being hit (by New Zealand) on both sides of the wicket. You can’t set a field for that.”
The tourists lost three wickets for only four runs at the start of their second innings and as the Test extended into a third day, only the diminutive Temba Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne offered any real resistance. —Agencies