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De Swardt and Von Berg fight back with the bat

───   MORGAN PIEK 07:51 Tue, 13 Feb 2024

De Swardt and Von Berg fight back with the bat | News Article
Ruan de Swardt - Cricinfo

“I thought the fightback from our batters was unbelievable. There is still quite a bit in the wicket, so I think if we can bat well tomorrow to get it past 300 or 350, then we are definitely still in with a chance.”

An unbeaten 70-run partnership for the 7th wicket by Ruan de Swardt and Shaun von Berg saved the Proteas blushes on day one of the 2nd Test against the Black Caps of New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

South Africa won the toss and elected to have a bat first and at the close of play they had ground to 220/6 in 89 overs.

The top-order once again found the going tough with the bat with Clyde Fortuin losing his wicket for a first ball duck in the second over, while the captain Neil Brand scored 25-runs, while Raynard van Tonder of the North West Dragons scored 32.

David Bedingham with 39 off 102 and Zubayr Hamza with 20 off 99 tried to steady the ship, but rotating the strike proved to be a challenge.

The North West Dragons allrounder, De Swardt, was unbeaten on 55, while the former Knights spinner, Von Berg, who is on debut at the 37-years-old scored 34 off 82 to frustrate the Kiwi attack during the third session.

Rachin Ravindra, who scored 240-runs in the first innings of the 1st Test, was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with 3/33 in 21 overs.

De Swardt, who scored his first Test fifty, said after being at 150/6, they are not unhappy with where they are at the close of play.

“It was hard graft out there and for me it was just about getting stuck into the New Zealand bowlers, have that mental toughness and just keep going,” said De Swardt.

“It was nice to put the team into a good position at the moment.

“With the position that we were in, we're not unhappy at the moment. I thought the fightback from our batters was unbelievable.

“There is still quite a bit in the wicket, so I think if we can bat well tomorrow to get it past 300 or 350, then we are definitely still in with a chance.”

Day two at Seddon Park gets underway at 00:00.

Morgan Piek OFM Sport

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