Rachin Ravindra’s 240 Fuels New Zealand’s Post-Lunch Rall

Tea New Zealand 475 for 7 (Rachin Ravindra 240, Williamson 118, Brand 3-97, de Swardt 2-61) vs South Africa

On the second day of the first Test in Mount Maunganui, Rachin Ravindra turned his first hundred into a brilliant 200. New Zealand kept making South Africa work hard.

South Africa stepped it up a notch in the second session on day two, scoring 145 runs in 27 overs to reach 475 for 7 at tea. They had been playing cautious cricket for about four sessions. South Africa was able to get four wickets during the session, but they had to pay for them.

Starting with 330 for 3 and scoring just under three runs per over, New Zealand knew they needed to score quickly. It was clear that both Ravindra and Daryl Mitchell meant to be there. The second session started well for Ravindra with a beautiful drive past mid-off off Ruan de Swardt. Mitchell then snubbed Dane Paterson with a straight leg, and New Zealand was up and running right away.

Ravindra’s Nervous Wait

Mitchell lofted de Swardt for a straight six, but Neil Brand caught and bowled him. Mitchell hit a tossed-up length ball back, but Brand put out both hands to his left and took a fantastic catch, shocking Mitchell.

After hitting a four, Tom Blundell mistimed a heave to short midwicket, who collected a low catch. Ravindra waited nervously on 199. The youth had to wait nearly 20 minutes and take a drink break when Blundell fell and Glenn Phillips couldn’t return the ball.

Rachin Ravindra scored his first Test double-century in his seventh innings by clipping a short-length ball to cover while removing his helmet to enjoy the ovation.

Ravindra notched up the highest score by a New Zealand batter for his maiden Test century when he went past Matthew Sinclair’s 214 but fell minutes before tea cleaned up by Brand for 240.

Ravindra’s Brilliance

Paterson used the wobble seam to edge Ravindra’s blade with his second ball, but there was no third slip to catch it. Williamson hit his first boundary of the day with a thick edge past gully but failed to continue. He tried an uncharacteristic cross-batted hoick to upset de Swardt’s wicket-to-wicket lines, but he only got a straight-up top edge. De Swardt, who dropped Williamson and Ravindra on the first day, waited. Mid-on, Moreki made no mistake, delighting de Swardt. That terminated Williamson and Ravindra’s 232-run partnership off 472 balls.

Ravindra’s Brilliance

Mitchell started with a powerful lofted drive past mid-on after being padded up for ages. Moreki lacked the same nip as on day one and was pulled elegantly by Ravindra through midwicket. Duanne Olivier was treated similarly until two sublime straight drives helped Ravindra reach 150 in Tests for the first time.

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