Sarel Erwee’s maiden Test ton propels South Africa to strong position in 2nd match vs NZ
Christchurch : South Africa’s left-handed opening batter, 32-year-old Sarel Erwee, scored his maiden century to give the tourists a strong start, with the Proteas ending Day 1 of the second Test against New Zealand on 238/3 at the Hagley Oval here on Friday.Following the debacle in the opening Test at the same venue, where South Africa lost by an innings and 276 runs, Erwee scored a patient 221-ball 108, sharing fruitful partnerships with captain Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram as the tourists aim to hit back with crucial World Test Championship points away from home.Erwee could only manage 10 and a duck on his Test debut a week back as the Proteas had suffered an innings defeat, getting bundled out for 95 and 111 with the Blackcaps notching up 482.But in just his second international match for South Africa, Erwee came up with a commanding performance, holding up one end for nearly the entire day on Friday.
Blunting Blackcaps’ skipper Tom Latham’s five-man pace attack alongside skipper Elgar, the pair moved the tourists into a commanding position by the tea break. It was a surprising move by Elgar to elect to bat after winning the toss, ignoring the historic trend at Hagley Oval and not shying away from the ferocious New Zealand bowling attack, which was rampaging in the first Test.Erwee was slower in his innings, though moved into his knock through a mix of shots and provided the majority of runs by the time South Africa brought up their century opening stand. It’s the first opening stand of over a hundred by the Proteas in Test cricket in 10 years.Elgar was undone by a Tim Southee delivery on 41, with the Blackcaps pacer the pick of the attack. Latham’s side was unable to make headway even with the scalp, as No.3 Markram too showed his class.
The right-hander took his time to gauge the conditions, before accelerating to 42, with most of his runs coming in boundaries.Markram accompanied Erwee through the eighties and nineties, as the newcomer to the side avoided a nervous tea break by reaching three figures in the last over of the second session. Negotiating the short-ball tactics of Neil Wagner, Erwee pulled around the corner to bring up his hundred.Resuming after tea at 163/1, the two set batters continued to make the scoreboard tick steadily. Markram, in particular, scored boundaries off Kyle Jamieson’s bowling as he moved closer to getting to his first fifty of the series.Markram threw away his wicket, with a thick edge off the bat landing into the hands of Daryl Mitchell at the first slip. New Zealand got more success immediately as Matt Henry had Erwee caught behind for a well-made 108.Temba Bavuma and Rassie van der Dussen made sure there weren’t any more hiccups in the day, sharing an unbeaten 39-run stand. South Africa added 75 runs in the final session for the loss of two wickets.
Brief scores: South Africa 238/3 in 90 overs (Dean Elgar 41, Sarel Erwee 108, Aiden Markram 42, Temba Bavuma 22 not out) vs New Zealand.
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