© Getty Images
Keshav Maharaj was awarded Man of the Match © Getty Images

Day Three was expected to be the final day of the second Test between New Zealand and South Africa, and it panned out as it was anticipated. Despite some defiance from Jeet Raval and BJ Watling, New Zealand bowed down to the new king of spin, Keshav Maharaj. Maharaj surprised one and all as he rattled the Kiwis’ lower middle-order, picking up the Man of the Match award with his sensational figures of 8 for 87 that included a 6-for in the second innings. This was also the second best figure for a bowler at the Basin Reserve, Wellington. Hashim Amla and JP Duminy saw their side through to an emphatic 8-wicket win, thus handing South Africa an unassailable 1-0 lead, with third and final Test to be played at Hamilton from March 25. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD, New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

Morne Morkel’s runway show – After shining with the bat on Day Two, Morne continued to threat New Zealand with his performance. Morkel, encouraged to do even better after achieving his highest Test score (40), bowled with pace and bounce early in his spell. With clouds hovering over the Basin Reserve, he becamee even more threatening. Morkel’s first wicket of Tom Latham was identical from the first innings, fending at the ball and handing a catch at gully.

His probing line induced the faintest-edge of the blade of Kane Williamson, which was caught by Watling.

Jeet Raval-Neil Broom’s resistance – With New Zealand tottering at 26 for 2, it was the pair of Raval and Broom that provided resistance for the home side. Raval, in particular, took blows on his fingers numerous times against Rabada and co. who were in between a fierce spell. Broom, after getting out on duck in his first ever Test outing, showed signs of deep resolve in middle, defending almost everything the visitors dished out for him.

The pair took New Zealand past the 50-run mark before lunch, but the break ruined their momentum as Broom fell victim to Morkel in the second over after lunch.

Jeet Raval’s fourth Test fifty – Raval, unlike in the first innings, managed to keep his head calm and composed. His ability to soak in pressure and rally his team around was exhibited to the tee. Even though luck was with Raval all through his innings, it was his tenacity in the middle that impressed one and all.

Raval recorded his fourth Test half-century and also went past his previous best score of 55. His untimely dismissal on 82, led to a colossal downfall for the Black Caps.

Maharaj’s mighty six – Maharaj, whose bowling in the first innings rocked New Zealand’s top order, became their undoing in the second. Maharaj accounted for six New Zealand victims. While few wickets came courtesy some poor shot selection by batsmen, Colin de Grandhomme and JeetRaval were piece of art.

Both batsmen were outfoxed by Maharaj’s guile and trajectory rather than their own mistakes. Raval was out to a delivery that kept turning away from him, while de Grandhomme was bamboozled by classical left-arm spin.

Maharaj recorded his best ever career figures of 6 for 40 in the process.