New Zealand vs South Africa 2nd Test Day 3: Maharaj’s career-best makes it 1-0 to South Africa

Maharaj finished with career-best figures of 6-40 off 20.2 overs

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Keshav Maharaj bamboozled New Zealand with his spin bowling, so much so that he ended up with career-best figures and guided South Africa to an eight-wicket win on the third day in Wellington.

With Maharaj also registering a five-wicket haul in the first Test in Dunedin, he became the first overseas spinner since Pakistan’s Intikhab Alam in 1973 to take two consecutive five-wicket hauls in a Test series in New Zealand.

Starting off the day onĀ 349/9, South Africa only added 10 runs to their score before Morne Morkel was clean bowled by Jeetan Patel for 40.

Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme picked up three wickets apiece, while Tim Southee snapped up two and Patel and James Neesham chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Trailing by 91 runs, New Zealand were in trouble right from the get-go as they lost wickets at regular intervals.

With the Black Caps having been reduced to 90/5 due to Maharaj and Morkel, Jeet Raval and wicketkeeper BJ Watling stemmed the bleeding with a 65-run partnership, during which Raval surpassed his half-century.

Just as New Zealand were beginning to claw their way back into contention, Maharaj got rid of Raval for a career-best 80, which came off 174 balls and included 10 boundaries.

Raval scored his fourth Test fifty

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

He then proceeded to rip through the lower order and New Zealand ended up being skittled out for 171, which set South Africa a target of 81 to win.

Maharaj was easily the most successful bowler with six wickets, while Morkel took three and Kagiso Rabada claimed one.

Chasing 81 to win, the Proteas lost openers Stephen Cook and Dean Elgar for 11 and 17 respectively, but Hashim Amla and JP Duminy mopped up the remaining runs to guide their side to victory.

Amla finished on 38 off 61 balls, which included five boundaries, while Duminy remained undefeated on 15 off 16 deliveries, which included two boundaries.

Wagner and Southee secured one wicket apiece.

Maharaj was named Man of the Match.

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