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Erwee ton gives South Africa flying start in second test

:Rookie opener Sarel Erwee savoured a maiden century as South Africa shrugged off a nightmare first test against New Zealand to dominate day one of the second test in Christchurch on Friday.

Having crashed to their second-worst defeat in tests in the series-opener, South Africa were 238 for three at stumps, with captain Dean Elgar rewarded for backing his batters on a green-tinged wicket at Hagley Oval after winning the toss.

Temba Bavuma was 22 not out and Rassie van der Dussen was on 13 at stumps.

Anchored by Erwee's 108 and an 111-run opening stand with Elgar (41), South Africa's day one total eclipsed their two innings combined in last week's opener at the same ground.

Lefthander Erwee managed only 10 runs on debut in that match but the late-blooming 32-year-old rebounded superbly in a 221-ball knock.

"Backs against the walls we had to show up and deliver a punch," Erwee told reporters.

"To come out the way we did today, it's obviously uplifting for us going forward over the next four days."

Elgar's decision to bat appeared brave as Tim Southee and the New Zealand seamers found life in the pitch early.

But the captain and Erwee negotiated a nervous first hour and then settled into a groove, keeping their wickets intact to put 80 runs on the board by lunch.

They built South Africa's first 100-run opening stand on tour since 2012, when Alviro Petersen and Graeme Smith combined for 138 against Australia at Adelaide Oval.

Southee ended their partnership at 111 runs, bowling the skipper for 41 with a sumptuous delivery that angled in and clipped the top of off-stump.

Erwee brought up his century a few balls before tea, pulling Neil Wagner to the fence after grinding through five maiden overs.

He and Aiden Markram (42) combined for 88 runs before the number three, who survived the axe after a dreadful run of form, tossed away his wicket with a loose drive at Wagner.

Erwee was out two balls later in a similar fashion, flashing at a Matt Henry delivery to be caught behind.

Poor fielding denied Henry another wicket, with Bavuma surviving an edge that flew through flat-footed slips fielders.

He edged another that fell just short of first slip on the next ball.

New Zealand's frustration grew as they lost a review trying to remove Bavuma lbw off Southee late in the day.

Van der Dussen was dropped on seven by Will Young at square leg, with Henry again denied the wicket.

South Africa shook up their side with three changes, bringing in all-rounder Wiaan Mulder, spinner Keshav Maharaj and paceman Lutho Sipamla.

Batsman Zubayr Hamza was ruled out with a fractured thumb, while pacemen Duanne Olivier and Glenton Stuurman were dropped.

New Zealand, hoping to complete their first ever series win over the Proteas, stuck with the same 11.

While a draw will be enough for New Zealand to win the series, victory would see them dislodge Australia as the world's number one test side, while shoring up their World Test Championship defence with maximum points.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Richard Pullin & Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: Reuters


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