Proteas

Marco Jansen puts down one of four catches. Photo: Twitter

Proteas haunted by FOUR drop catches in as many hours

The Proteas’ struggles on the opening day of the first Test against New Zealand were compounded by some awful fielding.

Proteas

Marco Jansen puts down one of four catches. Photo: Twitter

After being put in to bat on a bowler-friendly pitch in Christchurch, the Proteas crumbled to 95 all out, their lowest total in the first innings of a Test since 1932.

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Although the Proteas did give themselves some hope of rolling through New Zealand after picking up two early wickets, things then started to fall apart.

First Marco Jansen dropped what should have been a regulation catch in the gully, while Zubayr Hamza then failed to make the most of a difficult – but not impossible – chance in the slips.

As New Zealand began to put together a solid partnership through Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls, the latter was also dropped at point by Temba Bavuma – and by his usually high standards, it was a “sitter” that went down.

Finally, just before the close of play, Rassie van der Dussen failed to hang onto a tough grab at short leg after Neil Wagner turned the ball off his hips

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In fairness, the fielding was far more disappointing than the quality of bowling, with Glenton Stuurman certainly showing some promising signs on his debut – albeit without taking a wicket.

The Proteas did strike for a third time late in the day when Duanne Olivier bowled the dangerous Conway for 37, leaving New Zealand on 116/3 at stumps.

The Black Caps now already enjoy a 21-run lead, but South Africa will be left to rue their woeful catching and wonder what could have been.

Things had really gone awry for the Proteas right from the outset, though, with Dean Elgar continuing his losing streak at the toss, with New Zealand having no hesitation in putting the visitors in to bat on a seamer-friendly pitch.

LIVE | NEW ZEALAND V SOUTH AFRICA: 1ST TEST – DAY 1

As it turned out, South Africa had no answer to the sensational bowling of Matt Henry, who bagged top figures of 7-23 as the Proteas were bundled out for 95.

Zubayr Hamza top scored with 25, while Sarel Erwee made his debut, but could only manage 10 runs.

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TEAMS: NEW ZEALAND V SOUTH AFRICA

New Zealand

Tom Latham (captain), Will Young, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Blundell (wkt), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Matt Henry

South Africa

Dean Elgar (captain), Aiden Markram, Sarel Erwee, Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Zubayr Hamza, Kyle Verreynne (wkt), Marco Jansen, Kagiso Rabada, Duanne Olivier, Glenton Stuurman

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Proteas team management

Mark Boucher (Head Coach), Khomotso Volvo Masubelele (Manager), Charl Langeveldt (Bowling Coach), Justin Ontong (Fielding Coach), Justin Sammons (Batting Consultant), Malibongwe Maketa (Coach), Brent Martin (Physiotherapist), Tumi Masekela (Strength & Conditioning Coach), Dr Shuaib Manjra (Team Dr), Sipokazi Sokanyile (Media Manager), Kyle Botha (Masseur), Zunaid Wadee (Security).

Proteas Test Tour to New Zealand Itinerary

Thursday, 17 to Monday, 21 February                   1st Test                    Hagley Oval, Christchurch

Friday, 25 February to Tuesday, 01 March            2nd Test                   Hagley Oval, Christchurch