South Africa pushed New Zealand on the back foot, New Zealand would like to get the match drawn on the last day of the match

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Christchurch: South Africa kept their upper hand on the fourth day of the second cricket Test against New Zealand on Monday with the maiden century of Kyle Verne, who took over the responsibility of wicketkeeper after the sudden retirement of Quinton de Kock. Verene’s unbeaten 136 helped South Africa set a target of 425 for New Zealand by declaring their second innings at 354 for nine just before tea, after which the hosts are in trouble after losing four wickets for 94 runs. Kagiso Rabada supported Verene with a career-best 47 off 34 balls. Rabada then sent both New Zealand’s openers, captain Tom Latham (01) and Will Young (00), to the pavilion and scored two wickets for nine runs. Left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj increased New Zealand’s troubles by bowling Henry Nicholls (07) and Daryl Mitchell (24). At the end of the day’s play, South African-born Devon Conway was on 60 while wicket-keeper batsman Tom Blundell was supporting him with a run at the other end. New Zealand need only a draw to win their first Test series against South Africa in 17 attempts in 19 years but their road ahead will not be smooth on the final day tomorrow. Monday was named after Verene. He was given the responsibility after de Kock’s sudden retirement during the three-match Test series against India in December. Verne had previously played two Tests as a specialist batsman against the West Indies in which he scored 39 runs in three innings at an average of 13. His best Test score before was 30 in the second innings of the first Test against New Zealand. Verne played a key role in taking South Africa to a strong lead, adding 78 runs with Wynn Mulder (35) and then again with Rabada. Playing ahead of yesterday’s score of 22 runs, he completed his half-century in 97 balls. He scored a century in 158 balls.

[Attribution to NBT]

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