NZ thrash weakened Proteas by 281 runs in first test

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New Zealand took their time but eased to an emphatic victory over an inexperienced South Africa side by 281 runs late on the fourth day of the first test on Wednesday, taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

The Black Caps declared their second innings on 179 for four just before the start of play at Mount Maunganui’s Bay Oval to present the Proteas with an imposing victory target of 529.

The home seamers removed openers Neil Brand and Edward Moore cheaply inside the first 20 minutes but progress was stalled when Zubayr Hamza (36) and Raynard van Tonder (31) put together a stand of 63 for the third wicket.

Kyle Jamieson (4-58) came out firing after lunch to remove both in short order but David Bedingham then proved an even more serious roadblock.

The 29-year-old righthander, playing his third test, finally reproduced his prolific first class form at the elite level with a superbly aggressive knock of 87 to take his team safely to tea at 173-4.

Jamieson got his man shortly after the break when Bedingham threw away his chance of a maiden hundred by attacking a short ball and holing out at deep midwicket.

Keegan Petersen was the next batsman to fall for 16 when he too took on a short Jamieson delivery but only succeeded in pulling the ball to Rachin Ravindra at long leg.

Specialist spinner Mitch Santner was having little luck and part-timer Glenn Phillips made the next breakthrough when Clyde Fortuin (11) hit a shot that came off the close fielder’s knee and flew into the air for an easy catch.

South Africa got over the 200 mark but Santner (3-59) finally got into the act to remove Duanne Olivier (1), Tshepo Moreki (6) and Dane Paterson (15) to dismiss the tourists for 247.

The second and final test takes place in Hamilton from Feb. 13, when New Zealand will be targeting a first series victory over South Africa in nearly a century of trying.