28 Feb 2022

Black Caps rely on Conway to help save test

7:17 pm on 28 February 2022

New Zealand's hopes of an historic first test series win over South Africa hang in the balance.

New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson fielding the ball

New Zealand's Kyle Jamieson fielding the ball. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Set 426 to win the second test in Christchurch the Black Caps slumped to 94-4 at stumps on the penultimate day of the test.

New Zealand need to at least draw the match if they are to claim their first test series win over South Africa, having a 1-0 lead in the two match series.

Devon Conway was leading New Zealand's fightback after the loss of early wickets.

Captain Tom Latham (1) and fellow opener Will Young (0) were both out before the end of the third over in the Black Caps' chase.

Henry Nicholls joined them back in the pavilion not long after for 7.

Conway and Daryl Mitchell were guiding the Black Caps towards the end of the day's play before Mitchell was bowled for 24.

Tom Blundell joined Conway with seven overs remaining in the day.

At stumps, Conway was on 60 and Blundell had survived balls for his one run.

Earlier, wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne posted an unbeaten century as South Africa set the Black Caps a world record chase.

Verreynne, who had failed to pass 30 in his five previous tests, found form when it counted as the Proteas declared their second innings closed at 354-9 on a sunny day at Hagley Oval, having all but batted New Zealand out of the game.

The 24-year-old strolled off on 136 not out, with tail-ender Lutho Sipamla on 10 after captain Dean Elgar's declaration brought the tea break early.

South Africa had resumed on 232 for seven after lunch, looking to build on a 303-run lead against a tiring Black Caps attack.

Kagiso Rabada took full advantage, hammering four sixes and four fours in a 34-ball 47 before he was caught slogging to long-on off the bowling of Matt Henry.

Kyle Jamieson dismissed Keshav Maharaj for four but Verreynne and Sipamla added another 32 runs for the final wicket to compound New Zealand's misery.

Towering seamer Jamieson earlier had all-rounder Wiaan Mulder caught behind for 35, with wicketkeeper Tom Blundell taking a stunning, one-handed catch to break a 78-run partnership with Verreynne.

Marco Jansen added only nine runs in a 41-ball knock before slogging to the deep mid-wicket boundary where a charging Will Young lunged with a left hand and took another brilliant catch.

With the match slipping from their grasp, New Zealand threw away two DRS reviews, the first a speculative caught-behind appeal to dismiss Jansen and the second for lbw after Henry's last ball of the morning session thudded into Verreynne's pads.

- Reuters/RNZ