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RESULT
1st Test, Mount Maunganui, February 04 - 07, 2024, South Africa tour of New Zealand
511 & 179/4d
(T:529) 162 & 247

New Zealand won by 281 runs

Player Of The Match
240 & 2/16
rachin-ravindra
Report

Jamieson, Santner bowl NZ to victory after Williamson's twin centuries and Ravindra's 240

David Bedingham counterattacked for South Africa with 87 off 96 balls, but they folded for 247 in pursuit of 529

Ashish Pant
07-Feb-2024
New Zealand 511 (Ravindra 240, Williamson 118, Brand 6-119) and 179 for 4 dec (Williamson 109, Conway 29, Brand 2-52) beat South Africa 162 (Petersen 45, Henry 3-31, Santner 3-34) and 247 (Bedingham 87, Jamieson 4-58, Santner 3-59) by 281 runs
Kyle Jamieson's four-wicket haul backed up by Mitchell Santner's three-for helped New Zealand record a mammoth 281-run win over South Africa in the first Test in Mount Maunganui - their second highest in terms of runs. The margin of defeat would have been much more if not for David Bedingham's counterattacking 87 off 96 balls, where he took on the short ball with some aplomb.
Jamieson struck twice each after the lunch and tea breaks, breaking important stands as South Africa, who were chasing 529 for a win, folded for 247 in 80 overs. There were good partnerships built, but South Africa lost wickets in clusters way too often to go down. Aside from Bedingham, Zubayr Hamza, Raynard van Tonder and Keegan Petersen all got starts but none of them could go on and get a big one.
Earlier, New Zealand expectedly declared their second innings overnight on 179 for 4, setting South Africa an improbable target. Their bowlers Matt Henry and Tim Southee immediately found assistance under overcast skies to leave South Africa at 5 for 2 in the fourth over. While Southee troubled Edward Moore in the first over by curling the ball both ways, Henry seemingly had Neil Brand caught behind with his second delivery, as Tom Blundell took a stunning catch to his left. The South Africa captain, however, was saved on review.
Brand's stay at the crease was short-lived though, as Southee breached his defence with an incoming beauty. He got the ball to jag in from the around-the-wicket angle, and Brand, unsure whether to play at the ball or leave it, was late and saw his stumps in a mess. At that point, with the ball hooping around and the batters unsure, a collapse was on the cards. But Hamza and van Tonder hung around.
Hamza, who had looked solid in the first innings, got the first four of the innings in the 11th over - a firm punch through covers off Jamieson - before cutting Southee square soon after. Van Tonder, on a pair on debut, got his first runs in Tests with a push past mid-on. He had his nervous moments though, as an edge fell short of second slip to along with a number of plays and misses, but he kept going. The pair soon brought up the first 50-run stand for South Africa in the Test, and moved to lunch unscathed.
But having fought hard, debutant van Tonder's 83-ball vigil ended three overs after lunch when he edged a full-length Jamieson delivery straight into the hands of Tom Latham, who was stationed a tad wide at slips. Two overs later, it was Hamza's turn to depart when his meek attempt at a pull could only go as far as Southee at mid-on.
Bedingham and Petersen joined forces in the 33rd over with the score at 73 for 4, and added 105 for the fifth wicket, with the former doing the bulk of the scoring. Bedingham started nervously, swishing and missing at a couple of balls and then twice edging Jamieson past the lone slip Latham, who was positioned wide. But Petersen, at the other end, looked more solid.
For 11 overs from the 35th to the 46th, South Africa could only manage 16 runs, with a single boundary. There were chances created, but none that really went to hand. Then came Matt Henry with a short-ball plan, and Bedingham decided to cut loose. Having decided to take his name out of the SA20 draft in a bid to play this series, Bedingham showed off his T20 ware in this Test - and in style. Henry went short at him four times in four balls, but was carted for a boundary each time by making room and stepping towards the leg side, in an over that went for 19.
Rachin Ravindra was then tonked for a four straight down the ground - one that got Bedingham to his second fifty in Tests, before he took a liking to Southee. The fast bowler went short, and Bedingham's back-away-and-swing-for-the-hills plan was executed to perfection. In the last ten balls that he faced off Southee before tea, Bedingham carted him for 28. In all, South Africa scored 111 off 28 overs in the second session, with 71 coming off the last ten.
New Zealand went short at Bedingham for 22 balls, of which he whacked 48 runs, but the shot also brought about his downfall post tea. Not willing to change his approach, he went after Jamieson first over after the interval, but his miscued pull was caught at deep midwicket, with Bedingham falling 13 short of what would have been a maiden Test ton.
In his very next over, Jamieson had Peterson caught off a short ball down to deep-backward square leg, with Ravindra taking a good, low catch, and the end was nigh. Clyde Fortuin's innings was cut short in an unfortunate manner when he pulled a Glenn Phillips long hop straight into the knee of Latham at short leg, with the ball popping up for wicketkeeper Blundell to complete the catch.
Duanne Olivier then edged Santner to first slip, before the left-arm spinner ended Dane Paterson's enterprising innings on 15 to close out the game for the hosts and helped them take a 1-0 lead.
Ravindra, for his 240 in the first innings, was named Player of the Match.

Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

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NZ43103675.00
IND85216264.58
AUS106316655.00
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