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De Swardt stands firm following Ravindra’s triple strike

De Swardt stands firm following Ravindra’s triple strike

Ruan de Swardt’s gritty half-century rescued South Africa on the opening day of the second Test against New Zealand following Rachin Ravindra’s impactful triple breakthrough. Despite a shaky start that saw them slump to 101/5, South Africa managed to steady their innings, reaching 220/6 by stumps.

Opting to bat first, South Africa faced early setbacks as Clyde Fortuin fell cheaply, edging a delivery from Neil Wagner to a brilliant one-handed catch by Glenn Phillips. However, Raynard van Tonder showed resilience, striking a boundary off his first ball. Yet, their troubles persisted as skipper Neil Brand departed early, falling to debutant William O’Rourke.

Although Van Tonder and Zubayr Hamza showed promise, they couldn’t convert their starts into substantial scores. Van Tonder fell to a wide delivery from Wagner, while Hamza became Ravindra’s first victim after a spell of four consecutive maiden overs. Keegan Petersen’s dismissal further deepened South Africa’s woes, leaving them struggling at 101/5.

A vital 49-run partnership between de Swardt and David Bedingham provided some stability, but Bedingham’s dismissal, courtesy of Ravindra, halted their momentum. Nevertheless, de Swardt’s resilience, coupled with Shaun von Berg’s support, ensured South Africa’s recovery as they navigated through the remainder of the day.

Despite New Zealand’s attempts to break the partnership with the second new ball, de Swardt remained unfazed, reaching his fifty with an elegant drive through the covers. As South Africa aims to push past the 300-run mark on the second day, their hopes rest heavily on the shoulders of de Swardt and von Berg.

Brief Scores: South Africa 220/6 (Ruan de Swardt 55*, David Bedingham 39; Rachin Ravindra 3/33) vs New Zealand

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