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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 July 2024

Test series: Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson tons frustrate South Africa on day 1

Pretty special, more than the individual landmark, just contributing to a great day for us as a team, says Ravindra

Reuters Mount Maunganui Published 05.02.24, 06:13 AM
Rachin Ravindra (left) and Kane Williamson at the end of day’s play at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

Rachin Ravindra (left) and Kane Williamson at the end of day’s play at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday. Getty Images

Rachin Ravindra scored his first Test century and Kane Williamson his 30th in an unbroken stand of 219 as New Zealand put on 258 for two on the opening day of the first Test against a depleted South Africa at Bay Oval on Sunday.

South Africa chose to bowl after winning the toss and made immediate inroads in the second over when Tshepo Moreki, one of six debutants in the Proteas team, removed Devon Conway leg before with his first delivery in Tests.

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The more experienced Dane Paterson had the other Black Caps opener, Tom Blundell, edge behind for 20 but that only brought the in-form Ravindra and former skipper Williamson together on a bright, sunny day at Mount Maunganui.

Showing great patience as South Africa tried to suffocate them with accurate seam bowling, the pair took their time to score and were still safely at the crease at the close of play.

“Pretty special, more than the individual landmark, just contributing to a great day for us as a team,” said Ravindra, who will resume on 118 not out with Williamson unbeaten on 112.

Williamson did get frustrated at one point in his innings and Ruan de Swardt (0-24) will count himself unlucky that the master batsman’s attempt to slog the seamer over the covers did not end up in the hands of Edward Moore.

The 33-year-old was soon cracking another four to reach the half-century mark for the 34th time in his 97th test, however, and he converted it into another century with his 13th boundary.

Ravindra, 24, also got a life off the luckless de Swardt when he was on 80, his top edge flying towards Duanne Olivier at backward square leg only for the fielder to misjudge it running forwards.

The all-rounder, who was recently named ICC Emerging Player of the Year, was playing his first Test in two years .

Brief scores: New Zealand 258/2 (Rachin Ravindra 118 batting, Kane Williamson 112 batting) vs South Africa. At stumps, Day 1.

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