On Saturday, New Zealand claimed a rare victory over South Africa, winning the first Test by an innings and 276 runs in just seven sessions.
New Zealand defeated South Africa in the first Test on Saturday, winning by an innings and 276 runs in just seven sessions in Christchurch. They have only beaten South Africa five times in 46 Tests since 1932, with their most recent victory coming in 2004.
The overjoyed captain said, “It’s a great day.”
South Africa resumed the day at 34 for three and showed little appetite to chase down the total, losing their final seven wickets before lunch to be all out for 111.
Winning the toss and putting South Africa in to bat, according to Latham, was critical to New Zealand’s success.
The tourists were bowled out for 95 in their first innings on a green wicket, with Matt Henry taking seven for 23.
With Henry Nicholls’ century and a string of 50-plus partnerships, New Zealand amassed 482 in response, and the writing was on the wall for South Africa.
“Fingers crossed we can continue the momentum into the second Test match,” Latham said with New Zealand eyeing a first-ever series win against South Africa.
They won their first Test since 2008 despite the absence of two of their best batsmen – Ross Taylor, who retired, and Kane Williamson, who was injured – and strike bowler Trent Boult, who was on paternity leave.
Latham said, “It’s been a long time since we haven’t seen any of those three names who were a vital part of this side, but I guess it’s testament to the depth we’re creating.”
Dean Elgar, the frustrated Proteas captain, could not explain the drop in performance since South Africa won a series against India last month.
“It’s something I’m trying to wrap my head around, but I do feel our intensity was lacking during the last two and a bit days. We were totally outplayed by a classy New Zealand outfit. It’s extremely frustrating being the captain and the ball is being hit [by New Zealand] on both sides of the wicket. You can’t set a field for that.”
At the start of their second innings, the tourists lost three wickets for only four runs, and as the Test entered its third day, only the diminutive Temba Bavuma and Kyle Verreynne provided any real resistance.
The 1.62-metre Bavuma, who was 22 at the time, scored 41 and shared a 41-run stand with Verreynne before being caught leg before wicket by Neil Wagner.
In the next over, Verreynne was caught in slips by Southee, who then quickly dismissed Kagiso Rabada for zero.
South Africa’s day began poorly, with Bavuma’s overnight partner, Rassie van der Dussen, out on the second ball when Henry got the delivery to nip back, finding a gap between bat and pad.
Zubayr Hamza, who top-scored with 25 in South Africa’s first innings of 95, only managed six runs off 32 deliveries before edging Kyle Jamieson to Daryl Mitchell at first slip.
The remaining batsmen, Marco Jansen, Glenton Stuurman, and Duanne Olivier, combined for 21 runs.
Southee finished with five wickets for 35 runs, while man-of-the-match Henry and Wagner each took two wickets.