After suffering a humiliating defeat in the opening Test in Christchurch, plenty of pressure was on the Proteas to rebound with a display of fighting spirit in the second encounter.
As it turned out, South Africa did this in some style as Sarel Erwee scored his first Test century in his second match and shared in South Africa’s best opening partnership since December 2020.
With Dean Elgar having finally won the toss, he took the brave decision to bat first at the Hagley Oval, with the captain scoring 41 before he was dismissed when the Proteas were on 111.
However, Erwee then combined in another important partnership with Aiden Markram, who was boldly retained in the team despite battling for form, and he responded with a well-played 42.
The wickets of Erwee and Markram both fell while the score was on 199, before Rassie van der Dussen and Temba Bavuma stabilised the innings.
With Erwee emerging as the star on day one, the elegant left-handed batsman combined with Elgar to become the first visiting duo to share a century stand in the first innings of a Test in New Zealand since Graeme Smith and Herschelle Gibbs in 2004.
You can see the full scorecard here
Proteas team news
In changes that were made for the second Test, all-rounder Wiaan Mulder came back into the side, while Keshav Maharaj also returned. Interestingly, Lutho Sipamla cracked the nod in place of Glenton Stuurman.
Dean Elgar (captain), Sarel Erwee, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Kyle Verreynne (wkt), Wiaan Mulder, Keshav Maharaj, Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier, Lutho Sipamla
Tom Latham (captain), Will Young, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (wkt), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry
STATS AND TRIVIA
New Zealand have never beaten South Africa in a Test series and have lost 13 out of 16 series against them