1st Test, Mount Maunganui, February 04, 2024, 03:30 AM

New Zealand
511/10(144.0ov) & 179/4(43.0ov)
South Africa
162/10(72.5ov) & 247/10(80.0ov)

New Zealand beat South Africa by 281 runs

Best Batsmen
Best Bowler
Man of the Match
Rachin Ravindra
Right then, that is it from this first Test where the Kiwis take the lead with a massive win while the young Proteas side takes a lot of learnings and will look to use them and compete better in the next one. The 2nd and final Test will be played at Seddon Park, Hamilton. It will start on 13th February, Tuesday at 3.30 am GMT (10 pm, Previous Day), but as you know, you can always join us early for all the build-up to the game. Until then, cheers and goodbye!
Tim Southee, the victorious skipper of New Zealand says it was a pretty good surface overall and to pick 20 wickets of the opposition was really special. He adds that it is pleasing to see everyone stepping up with crucial contributions when required. Says that they had a great preparation and appreciates the Proteas by saying they are really talented and they know how to compete. Says that it offers a little bit more to the bowlers later in the Test. Lauds Santner that he bowled really well and that they got better as the Test went on. Says that they are a bit better in the second innings. Concludes by saying that they are eagerly waiting to play at Hamilton next.
Neil Brand, the captain of South Africa says that it is very deflating. Adds that on Day 1, they were in the game but did not take their chances and credits New Zealand for a strong performance. Tells that this tested their patience, but the disappointing thing was batters not converting their starts. Mentions that they lost quite a few wickets right after a break and will need to discuss it and challenge strongly in the next Test. Ends by saying that he is very happy with his eight wickets in the match, including the six-wicket haul in the second innings, but ultimately he is there to score runs and is disappointed not being able to do so in this game.
Rachin Ravindra is the PLAYER OF THE MATCH for his scintillating double-hundred. He says that he is really delighted to contribute to the team's win. Adds that they managed to build crucial partnerships which helped to post a huge total on the board. Tells that he rates his innings very high and appreciates Kane Williamson saying that he has 31 centuries and is the great of this format. Mentions that contributing to the team is essential and that they are working hard for it. Says that he feels that he belongs here and the team management ensures that. He concludes that he is happy with the win and Kane and he enjoyed out there batting together.
Presentation Time...
While chasing, the Proteas openers failed to give them a good start and were sent back by Tim Southee and Matt Henry pretty quickly. However, Raynard van Tonder and Zubayr Hamza steadied the ship after that till Lunch, but couldn't make much of their starts as they fell victim to Kyle Jamieson early in the second session. After that, the pair of Keegan Petersen and David Bedingham stepped up and showed some good batting skills along with a solid defence adding 105 runs together. Bedingham was bombarded with short balls by the Kiwis, but he counter-attacked and smacked them away registering a fine half-century. He was able to handle that game plan effectively before Tea, but in the third session, he holed out, trying to take on Kyle Jamieson again. He smashed 87 off just 96 balls and just missed out on a maiden Test hundred, but unfortunately for the Proteas, his partner followed suit and became the fourth victim for Jamieson. Mitchell Santner got into the act and removed two batters to take his side close to the win. Dane Paterson and Ruan de Swardt wagged around for a bit, scoring a few runs that will give them a bit of confidence for the next game. Jamieson created a big chance for his fifer, but Matt Henry spilled out, and it was Santner who wrapped things up to seal a big win for the Kiwis.
As there is not much break between the two Tests, the Kiwis decided not to enforce the follow-on and bat again even with a massive lead due to workload management. Tom Latham failed to take this opportunity and went back for another low score while Devon Conway struggled a bit but managed to stick around for a long time. However, the highlight was the terrific hundred from Kane Williamson who joined an elite list to score back-to-back centuries in a single Test. For South Africa, Neil Brand added a couple to extend his tally to eight wickets in the match while Dane Paterson and Ruan de Swardt chipped in with one each. The Kiwis batted till the end of Day 3, and as expected, they declared right before the start of Day 4 setting up a daunting target of 529 runs for South Africa.
New Zealand dominated the first innings, amassing 511 runs over 144 overs and 5 sessions. Kane Williamson's solid 118 and Rachin Ravindra's exceptional 240 laid the foundation for the Kiwis' substantial lead against South Africa. Despite Neil Brand's remarkable 6-wicket haul as the Proteas' debut skipper, quickfire contributions from Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, and Matt Henry helped New Zealand breach the 500-run mark.  In response, South Africa struggled against the strong Kiwi bowling attack, failing to build significant partnerships despite starts from Edward Moore, Zubayr Hamza, and David Bedingham. Keegan Petersen top-scored with 45 runs, but South Africa collapsed for 162, trailing by 349 runs. The sorry-looking batting scorecard reflected their inability to counter New Zealand's bowling onslaught, leaving them facing an uphill battle.
KIWIS - 1 PROTEAS - 0! The first round of this series goes to the hosts and that was pretty much expected. New Zealand dominated this Test right from the start and never lost control of it winning it by a massive margin of 281 runs in the end. It was always going to be difficult for South Africa with six debutants, but there were some glimpses of potential and they can take a few positives from this game.
In over# 80
Mitchell Santner 59/3(26)
OUT! TAKEN! New Zealand WIN convincingly by 281 runs. Mitchell Santner does the job for the Kiwis and Kane Williamson makes no mistake in the deep with the catch. Provides a lot of air to the ball and drops it from around the wicket on a fuller length in front of the stumps, Dane Paterson goes for another biggie in an attempt to clear the deep mid-wicket with a heave but does not get enough wood on it as he loses his shape a bit in an attempt to hit it hard. The ball carries straight towards Kane Williamson at long on who settles his eyes underneath it and reverse cups it to wrap this first Test. New Zealand are surely the deserved victors of this Test and it was just a matter of time to finish things in style. New Zealand take the lead by 1-0 in the series.
Short and wide of off, Ruan de Swardt cuts it away to backward point for a single.
In the again! Tossed up delivery on off which spins well away from the batter, Dane Paterson looks to clear the cover region but splices it up behind the covers for a single.
Flighted delivery with a lot of air on off, and full, Dane Paterson gets forward and defends it to mid off.
Drags his length on the pads, Ruan de Swardt tucks it to fine leg for a single.
FOUR! Slapped away! Drifts it on the middle stump on a shade shorter length, Ruan de Swardt rocks back and pulls it through deep square leg for a boundary.
In over# 79
Kyle Jamieson 58/4(17)
Slow, full, and outside off, Dane Paterson looks to guide it to the square of the wicket but misses.
Short of a length down leg, Dane Paterson ducks underneath through to the keeper.