AB de Villiers steers South Africa to safety
AB de Villiers carried South Africa to a position of safety with his 83 which helped them take a 68 run first innings lead against New Zealand on Day 2 of the second Test between the two sides at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
Resuming overnight on 27/2, de Villiers came in to bat as SA lost Hashim Amla (16) and Jacques Kallis (6) in quick succession to go from 63/2 to 69/4. He watched as Alviro Peterson (29) and Jacques Rudolph (1) too departed and SA slid to 88/6, still trailing NZ by 97 runs.
He added 63 runs with Mark Boucher (24) for the seventh wicket and 34 each with Vernon Philander (14) and Morne Morkel (35) for the eighth and ninth wickets before he was bowled by Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Daniel Vettori.
de Villiers made batting look easy on the pitch despite the unease the SA top order displayed, playing out the dangerous Mark Gillespie and milking the rest of the NZ attack without a fuss. He found gaps with ease, striking 10 boundaries in his 133 ball knock and importantly, shepherded the tail ably to grow SA's lead.
He was dismissed leaving the score on 219/9 but the last pair of Morkel and Tahir (16) added another 34 runs to extend the SA first innings lead to 68.
Philander put SA ahead almost immediately, claiming Rob Nicol (1) and Brendon McCullum (5) before Steyn removed Martin Guptill (1) to leave NZ gasping at 7/3. NZ skipper Ross Taylor (17) and Kane Williamson (41*) added 57 for the fourth wicket before Steyn returned to remove Taylor.
NZ played out the two remaining overs to end the day on 65/4 with Vettori (0*) giving Williamson company, the team trailing SA’s lead by 3 runs.