The second test match between South Africa and New Zealand played at Centurion turned to be a one-sided contest as South Africa managed to wrap up the game by 204 runs against New Zealand. The hosts bowling lineup was outstanding as Dale Steyn and Vernon Philander made the ball do all the talking on a surface providing heaps of encouragement to the seamers.
The star of the show was arguably Dale Steyn who went onto take five wickets in the New Zealand second innings and produced a top notch performance to silence his detractors that he was past his prime. Quinton de Kock sent at the top order due to injury to opener Dean Elgar turned out to be a masterstroke as he played two vital aggressive innings at top of the innings to be awarded with man of the match for his performances in the game.
The Kiwis started badly in the second innings as Steyn bowled Tom Latham in the first over of the innings. Martin Guptill also perished to absolute peach away swinger bowled by Dale Steyn to claim his second wicket.Ross Taylor also could not survive the probing spell produced by Steyn as he was trapped leg before right in front as the ball kept low to see his side reeling at 5 for 3 after four overs.Kane Williamson could not replicate his first innings heroics and edged a delivery by Philander to keeper de Kock to leave Kiwis in tatters at 4 wickets down for a score of 7 runs.
Henry Nicholls and BJ Watling provided some resistance as they put on 68 runs together before off spinner Dane Piedt trapped Watling right in front to see the side placed at 75 for 5 after 29 overs. Steyn came into the attack after tea to dismiss Mitchell Santner for 16 runs to take his fourth wicket of the innings. Vernon Philander also dismissed Doug Bracewell to see South Africa needing just three wickets to clinch the game and the series. Tim Southee was dismissed for 14 runs after he was cleaned up by a searing yorker delivered by Kagiso Rabada to inch his side ever close to a win. Neil Wagner also could not stand in front of quick menacing deliveries bowled by Rabada who dismissed him to take his second wicket of the game.
Dale Steyn took the final wicket of Henry Nicholls as he mistimed a pull to a short pitch delivery to be caught by Kagiso Rabada to see New Zealand get bowled out for 195 runs in the 58th over.
Earlier in the game, South Africa batted first and compiled 481 runs as stand in captain Faf du Plessis scored a composed century while Amla, Duminy and de Kock chipped in with crucial half centuries to put the side in a commanding position in the game. Neil Wagner was best of the bowlers for New Zealand as he took five wickets in the first innings. New Zealand in reply got off to a bad start in their first innings as they slumped to 38 for 3 as Philander and Steyn took one wicket apiece at the close of Day 2 of the test match. The visitors on day 3 could only muster 214 runs on the board as the fast bowling trio for South Africa took eight wickets between them to give their side a lead of 267 runs. New Zealand bowling performed better in the South Africa’s second innings as they had the hosts in all sorts of trouble to see them declare at 132 for 7 after 47 overs to setup a target of 400 runs.
New Zealand will rue the fact they did not bowl that well in South Africa’s first innings to end up on a losing side in the decider at Centurion against South Africa.