New Zealand vs South Africa 1st Test Day 3: Maharaj’s five-for keeps South Africa in contention

Maharaj finished with career-best figures of 5-94 off 28.3 overs

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

South Africa spinner Keshav Maharaj took a five-wicket haul to ensure things didn’t get out of hand for his side on the third day of the first Test in Dunedin.

Starting off the day on 177/3, New Zealand lost nightwatchman Jeetan Patel and all-rounder James Neesham early on as the former former fell to Vernon Philander, while the latter was dismissed by the returning Morne Morkel.

Captain Kane Williamson and wicketkeeper BJ Watling stabilised the innings with an 84-run partnership, during which Williamson surpassed his hundred, before he was caught behind off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada for 130 off 241 balls, which included 18 boundaries.

Williamson celebrates after scoring his 16th Test century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Following Williamson’s dismissal, New Zealand began to lose wickets at regular intervals thanks to Maharaj and Morkel.

Watling ended up making 50 off 128 balls, which included eight boundaries, as New Zealand were bowled out for 341, which gave them a 33-run run lead.

Watling scored his 13th Test fifty

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Ross Taylor, who retired hurt with a torn calf muscle on the second day, returned to bat when the Black Caps were nine down and concluded the innings on 15 not out.

Maharaj was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Morkel and Philander snapped up two wickets apiece. Rabada, meanwhile, chipped in with one.

Trailing by 33 runs, South Africa made a disastrous start to their second innings as opener Stephen Cook was caught behind off the bowling of Trent Boult on the fourth ball.

Not long after, the fire alarm went off and the players, commentators and fans had to be evacuated.

About 20 minutes later, play resumed and Hashim Amla and Dean Elgar ensured the Proteas didn’t lose another wicket as they put together an unbeaten 38-run partnership before bad light brought play to an end for the day.

Amla finished on 23 off 57 balls, which included five boundaries, while Elgar remained undefeated on 12.

Boult was the only bowler to take a wicket.

South Africa ended day three on 38/1 and will continue batting on Saturday at 10:50 local time or 21:50 GMT (the previous day).

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