The first three days exhibited great action from both teams, keeping the game in equilibrium    Getty Images
The first three days exhibited great action from both teams, keeping the game in equilibrium Getty Images

Two blistering centuries, one five-for, some excellent swing bowling, great batsmanship, dropped catches, horrid time with DRS, two injuries all this was witnessed in the first Test between New Zealand and South Africa at Dunedin. But all this for what a boring dull weather which enforced impasse! The first three days exhibited great action from both teams, keeping the game in equilibrium. But Day Four saw New Zealand s horrific time in fielding giving South Africa the edge in the first two sessions. But the hosts bounced back well to get three important wickets towards the end of the day to keep their challenge alive at least, if not in forefront or balance. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD, New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

So keeping all these happenings in mind, let us try evaluating performances of the starting XI for both teams, first with the hosts:

Note: New Zealand batted only once while South Africa bowled once

Tom Latham (1/10): Before this Test, Latham s Test scores read 177, 16 and 68 and 41* against Bangladesh. But since then, he has just dropped down. At Dunedin, he managed just 10 runs and dropped JP Duminy s regulation sitter at first slip in the second innings of Trent Boult s bowling.

Jeet Raval (7/10): Played extremely well under pressure. He was patient enough to let the tough time pass. Complemented Kane Williamson well, managing to construct 102-run stand driving their team out of a precarious situation. The way he was playing, he looked all poised to score his maiden Test century but threw away his wicket.

Kane Williamson (8/10): Scored his 16th Test century joining his colleague Ross Taylor and now is one short of levelling with legendary Martin Crowe at 17 Test centuries; highest by any New Zealander. He led his side from the front, managing to score 130. Williamson formed a good partnership with Raval, but New Zealand middle-order crumbled, though he still kept calm and was composed. In his entire innings, he never looked uncomfortable and was finally undone by a very good delivery.

But Williamson had a horrid time when it came to using DRS. Lost both the reviews against unnecessary appeals and hence he loses two points. Otherwise, he was flawless with the bat.

Henry Nicholls (3/10): Nicholls had the perfect opportunity to make a name for himself as Ross Taylor had returned back due to his injury. But he could only manage15 runs. Hashim Amla did take a blinder at first slip to dismiss him, but Nicholls never looked convincing.

Jimmy Neesham (2/10): Neesham managed only 7 runs and just 1 wicket in the match. As a player of his standard, he was the lynchpin in New Zealand middle-order, but faltered!

BJ Watling (5/10): Watling played a sturdy inning of 50 to ensure New Zealand reaching South Africa s first innings total. But he dropped Dean Elgar twice in both innings which cost New Zealand big time

Mitchell Santner (1/10): Just 4 runs and a wicket in the match. This was Santner s performance. Scores should suffice.

Jeetan Patel (7/10): Patel took total 4 wickets in both innings and managed 19 runs as nightwatchman. He got the ball turning in both innings and kept the brakes applied from his end. But he was a little unlucky in not getting more wickets. NZ vs SA, 1st Test, Day 5: Rain enforces draw

Neil Wagner (8/10): Wagner is New Zealand s true workhorse. Playing in front of his home crowd, Wagner came in raging whenever his skipper entrusted him the responsibility and played a crucial role in dismantling the South African top-order twice. He bowled the maximum number of overs i.e 58 in this Test. He was undoubtedly the best bowler in the first Test.

Wagner also hit some big shots, ensuring New Zealand took lead over South Africa.

Trent Boult (8/10): Despite not bowling in the last session of Day Four, Boult was phenomenal. Swung the ball both ways and took 5 wickets in total. But seems the overwork took its toll on him. Otherwise, it was a great display of seam and swing bowling.

Won t be rating Ross Taylor as he did not take much part in the game!


Now for the visiting team

Stephen Cook (1/10): Scores of 3 and 0. He was actually not-out in the second innings as he had hit his pads and not the ball. But he just walked off despite having 2 reviews.

Hashim Amla (2/10): Amla managed scores of 1 and 24. He had a huge task of providing solidarity to South Africa innings and utilise his experience at top of the order but failed miserably.

Dean Elgar (9.5/10): He deserved 10 for the way he batted. Elgar amassed 229 runs, with one century. But truth be told, he always had the second century coming if he had curbed his thoughts playing the rash shot in second innings. A complete Man of the Match innings!

JP Duminy (4/10): Duminy managed scores of 1 and 39. The latter was very crucial in the second innings, but he never looked convincing, managing to edge the ball every now and then. He wasted reviews in both innings hoping to turn the on-field umpire s decision against him.

Faf du Plessis (9/10): Du Plessis is a shrewd captain. He supported his team in both the innings by getting fifties. His unbeaten 56 in second innings played a vital role in giving South Africa the upper hand at stumps on Day Four.

Temba Bavuma (7/10): The way Bavuma constructed his knock of 64 in the first innings gave clear signs of him getting back his lost form. His dismissal in the second innings was on a little unlucky side, though.

Quinton de Kock (3/10): He gets 2.5 points for being safe behind the stumps. Otherwise, he had a forgetful game managing 10 and 4 in the game; 0.5 points because his second innings dismissal was too good for any left-handed batsman. It was an off breaker s delight that got him. Washout on Day 5 frustrates Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis

Keshav Maharaj (8/10): Maharaj got his maiden five-for (5 for 94). He was milked by Raval and Williamson initially on Day Two, but on Day Three he got in the groove pitching the ball in perfect areas and getting wickets regularly.

Vernon Philander (5/10): Philander got 2 wickets. He was very good with the old ball swinging it on the seam. But after a certain time, Philander became too predictable for the Kiwi batsmen.

Kagiso Rabada (6/10): Rabada started off well, threatening the New Zealand batsmen every now and then with accurate bounce. But he was mostly on the inconsistent side, giving away too many loose deliveries. He got the only priced wicket of Williamson.

Morne Morkel (6/10): Morkel bowled decently in his comeback game. He had to work hard for his 2 wickets though, but was accurate in his bowling, peppering the batsmen with short deliveries.