Williamson's ton puts Kiwis ahead on 4th day vs Proteas

Indo Asian News Service

Hamilton, March 28 (IANS) Skipper Kane Williamsons 176 and Colin de Grandhommes 57 put New Zealand in a commanding position before the home bowlers reduced South Africa to 80/5 by the end of the fourth day of the third cricket Test match at the Seldon Park here on Tuesday.

Colin de Grandhomme hit paydirt with bat and ball to build on Williamson's big century as New Zealand tightened its hold on South Africa in the series-deciding third and final Test, according to an International Cricket Council's (ICC) release.

At stumps on the fourth day, South Africa were 80/5 in its second innings, still 95 short of making New Zealand bat again. Faf du Plessis (15) and Quinton de Kock (15) were in the middle at close of play.

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 catch in the slips to dismiss Hashim Amla.

Wickets continued to fall. Theinus de Bruyn was run out for 12 after a mid-pitch collision with Amla that left both batsmen sprawled on the ground, and Williamson threw the ball to Bradley-John Watling to complete the dismissal.

Amla, on eight then, reached 19 before edging a delivery from Jeetan Patel, which rebounded off Watling's glove to de Grandhomme, the sole slip.

Patel also bowled Jean Paul Duminy and Matt Henry had Temba Bavuma caught behind to leave South Africa 59 for 5 before du Plessis and de Kock survived 12 overs to stumps.

Earlier, New Zealand started the day with a seven-run lead and added another 168 with Williamson posting his third-highest Test score of 176 and de Grandhomme chipping in with his maiden half-century.

After the overnight batsmen Williamson and Mitchell Santner consolidated the innings with an 88-run stand for the fifth wicket, de Grandhomme finished the innings with five fours and two sixes in his 70-ball stay.

Williamson had looked assured 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 fell in the last over before lunch for 41, de Grandhomme joined Watling to lift the pace.

Watling contributed 24 before he was bowled by Keshav Maharaj. Henry added 12 and Patel five before the innings folded with de Grandhomme gloving Morkel to de Kock.

Morkel took 4 for 100 and Kagiso Rabada 4 for 122 while de Kock held five catches behind the stumps.

--IANS

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