Cricket: NZ keen to 'get back on horse'

By David Leggat

Temba Bavuma helped take the game away from New Zealand. Photo / AP
Temba Bavuma helped take the game away from New Zealand. Photo / AP

New Zealand might need all of the extra two days off to prepare for the crucial third test against South Africa, starting in Hamilton next Saturday.

Somehow they have to conjure a win out of the ruins of a bad day-and-a-half at the Basin Reserve to square the series against formidable opponents, who now hold the whip hand after their eight-wicket win in the capital yesterday.

New Zealand are sure to argue, with good reason, they played some decent cricket over the first test and first half of the three days at the Basin, before things went pear-shaped.

"It's our final game and it's important we do get back on the horse very quickly," captain Kane Williamson said of the Seddon Park match.

They've had three wins there already this summer - a test thriller against Pakistan and ODIs against both Australia and South Africa - against one ODI loss to the South Africans which could offer some encouragement.

"We will try and look at it [the capitulation yesterday] as a bad day. There were some very good signs earlier in the match."

The 160-run stand between Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma ripped the game away from New Zealand in the space of two hours on Friday. Indeed, de Kock would have been a worthy man of the match for the impact his rapid 91 had in shifting the match on its axis.

New Zealand hope to have left armer Trent Boult for Hamilton, after his leg injury sidelined him for the Basin. Senior batsman Ross Taylor, with a minor calf tear, is less likely to make it, but hasn't been officially rubbed out.

Several players will be on notice and with the prediction of a more spin friendly strip, at least one middle order figure will be vulnerable if Mitchell Santner is to provide spin support for Jeetan Patel.

As for man of the match Keshav Maharaj - who has taken 13 wickets at 13.9 in the two tests including six for 40 yesterday - he followed a simple recipe.

"Being a spinner of minimal variation, I have to rely on consistency. I was trying to stay as consistent as possible to try and help the captain.

"If it's a wicket that's turning or not, I just want to land the ball in an area that I should be landing it in."

Simple indeed, and New Zealand had no answer.

- NZ Herald

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