Colin de Grandhomme fired with bat and ball to back up Kane Williamson’s 176 as New Zealand tightened the screws on South Africa in the series-deciding final Test in Hamilton on Tuesday (March 28).
At stumps on the fourth day, South Africa were 80 for 5 in their second innings, still 95 runs short of making New Zealand bat again. Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock were in the middle at close of play, both on 15.
De Grandhomme, whose lower-order 57 helped push New Zealand to 489, a lead of 175, struck in the sixth over of South Africa’s reply with the wicket of Dean Elgar for five and rounded off his day with a smart catch to dismiss Hashim Amla. De Grandhomme was not required in the first Test when Elgar scored 140 and 89 but in four innings since he has removed the opener for scores of nine, 17, five and five.
The loss of Elgar should have signaled to South Africa that it was time to dig in but wickets continued to fall at regular intervals. Theinus de Bruyn was run out for 12 in a bizarre mid-pitch collision after an Amla drive to mid off. De Bruyn was keeping an eye on the fielder and veered into Amla, leaving the batsmen sprawled on the ground as Williamson threw to BJ Watling to complete the dismissal.
Amla, on eight then, progressed to 19 when he edged a delivery from Jeetan Patel, which rebounded off Watling’s glove to de Grandhomme, the sole slip.
Patel also bowled JP Duminy (13) and Matt Henry had Temba Bavuma caught behind for one to leave South Africa 59 for 5 before du Plessis and de Kock survived 12 overs to stumps.
Should New Zealand level the series it will be a remarkable turnaround from the eight-wicket, three-day thumping suffered in the second Test, and achieved without injured strike bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee as well as senior batsman Ross Taylor.
New Zealand started the day with a seven-run lead and added a further 168 with Williamson posting his third-highest Test score and de Grandhomme chipping in with his maiden half-century.
After Williamson and Mitchell Santner consolidated the innings with a patient 88-run stand for the fifth wicket, de Grandhomme finished the innings with a flourish, smacking five fours and two sixes in his 70-ball stay.
Williamson had looked assured throughout until he hooked Morne Morkel to Vernon Philander at long-leg after 449 minutes in the middle. He faced 285 deliveries in the innings, which lasted more than seven hours and included 16 fours and three sixes.
When Santner went in the last over before lunch for 41, de Grandhomme joined Watling to lift the pace. From less than two an over, the run rate lifted to four with Watling contributing 24 before he was bowled by Keshav Maharaj. Henry added 12 and Patel five before the innings folded with de Grandhomme gloving a Morkel flyer through to de Kock.
Morkel took 4 for 100 and Kagiso Rabada 4 for 122 while de Kock held five catches behind the stumps.