Wed, Mar 29, 2017 - Page 16 News List

Reeling Proteas hail Kane Williamson’s fabulous 176

AFP, HAMILTON, New Zealand

South Africa’s Theunis de Bruyn, left, is run out as he and teammate Hashim Amla collide midwicket on the fourth day of the third Test in Hamilton, New Zealand, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

South Africa yesterday paid homage to a “fabulous” Kane Williamson after the New Zealand captain’s 176 left the Proteas on the ropes with a day to play in the deciding final Test in Hamilton, New Zealand.

“We’ve got a mountain to climb,” assistant coach Adrian Birrell said after South Africa were reduced to 80-5 at stumps on the fourth day, 95 runs short of making New Zealand bat again. “Kane Williamson’s innings was a fabulous innings and you’ve got to sometimes doff your cap to a good player.”

With Colin de Grandhomme also firing with the bat with a quickfire 57, New Zealand started the day seven runs ahead and added 168 before they were all out for 489.

De Grandhomme then ignited the assault on the South Africa top order in the sixth over when he removed Dean Elgar for 5 and later took a smart catch to dismiss Hashim Amla for 19.

Theunis de Bruyn was run out for 12 in a bizarre mid-pitch collision when he was ball-watching and veered into Amla, leaving the batsmen sprawled on the ground.

Birrell said the Proteas’ batting mayhem was part of the flow-on effect from Williamson’s marathon innings.

“One hundred and sixty-two overs is a long time to be in the field and it was a hard day. Players are fatigued and to bat on the back of that is always going to be difficult.” he said. “Once they got ahead of us by 100 runs it was always going to be a survival match.”

Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock were both 15 not out at stumps.

Birrell said they were looking for De Kock, who set up their eight-wicket win in the second Test to go 1-0 up in the series, to go on the attack today.

“If he goes into a defensive mode it’s probably the worst thing for him, so we look for him to score. Ninety-five runs, we start getting the positive, and every run in the positive is one they have to get and is time wasted,” he said.

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