It’s NZ’s day at Mount Maunganui thanks to Jamieson’s explosion and Ravindra 240.

Rachin Ravindra had only scored 73 runs at 14.60 per six innings heading into the Mount Maunganui Test, and he had never batted in the top six in Test cricket. The left-hander has more than raised his stats on both counts in just one inning here. On the second day of the first Test, Ravindra, who was handed the crucial No. 4 slot, produced a brilliant score of 240 to aid New Zealand in maintaining their lead against South Africa.

Neil Brand, the captain of South Africa and an inexperienced player, finished with figures of 6 for 119, but New Zealand compiled 511 in their first innings thanks to Ravindra’s double off the back of Kane Williamson’s 118. South Africa finished the second day at 80 for 4, remaining well behind the hosts by a staggering 431 runs. Kyle Jamieson struck twice.

Losing Williamson early, New Zealand resumed their day on 258 for 2, but Ravindra carried on from his first-day position. unexpectedly on the second day, South Africa started all-rounders Ruan de Swardt and Dane Paterson before Tshepo Moreki, even though the second new ball was only six overs old.

It's NZ's day at Mount Maunganui thanks to Jamieson's explosion and Ravindra 240.

With just his second ball, Paterson got the wobble seam traveling in his favour and forced an edge off Ravindra’s blade, but there was no third slip in position to grab the catch. Williamson failed to continue after getting his first boundary of the day with a thick edge past gully. He attempted an unusual cross-batted hoick in an attempt to disrupt de Swardt’s reliable wicket-to-wicket lines, but all he could manage was a top edge that ballooned straight up, with Moreki taking the catch at mid-on. That put an end to Williamson and Ravindra’s 232-run partnership off 472 balls.

Mitchell, who had been padding up for a long time, fired first, smashing a full-blooded, lofted drive past mid-on. The nip that Moreki found on the first day had changed, and Ravindra drew him beautifully through midwicket. Duanne Olivier received a similar treatment before Ravindra became the first player to cross the 150-mark in Test cricket with two exquisite straight drives.

After playing patient cricket for around four hours, New Zealand picked up the pace following lunch. With a superb drive past mid-off from de Swardt, Ravindra started his second session as Mitchell pushed Dane Paterson through square leg with contempt.

Mitchell lofted de Swardt for a straight six, but Neil Brand’s brilliant catch and bowling sent him down shortly after. Mitchell smashed a tossed-up length ball back, but much to Mitchell’s surprise, Brand extended both hands to his left and made an extremely impressive take.

After entering the game, Tom Blundell hit a four, but he shortly misplayed a heave to short midwicket, who made a low catch. As for Ravindra, there was a stressful wait eagerly awaiting him on 199. Blundell had to spend over 20 minutes on the score and have a drink break after he fell and Glenn Phillips was unable to give him back the strike.

Finally reaching the milestone, Ravindra took off his helmet to take in the cheers as he cut a short ball towards cover. After the double-hundred was confirmed, Ravindra and Phillips made the choice to accelerate, scoring 82 runs in just 71 deliveries for the sixth wicket.

Before tea, Ravindra passed Matthew Sinclair’s score of 214 to become the highest-scoring New Zealand batsman for his first Test century. However, minutes later, Brand amassed 240. Throughout the session, New Zealand amassed 145 runs at an average of more than five an over in 27 overs, despite four strikes from South Africa.

In the closing session, Matt Henry gave New Zealand what they had came for, hitting three sixes and one four in his ninety-ball 27. However, Brand became the first South African spinner to score six figures in a Test match when he took the final three wickets, first getting past Mitchell Santner’s defenses and then removing Henry and Tim Southee in the same over.

In response, South African openers Edward Moore and Brand, who were both making their debuts, held their own for about nine overs. Moore opened the scoring with a hard cut off Southee through point, then repeated the play with an identical outcome. In defense, Brand was more reliable, closing the distance behind the ball’s line.

It's NZ's day at Mount Maunganui thanks to Jamieson's explosion and Ravindra 240.

But when Jamieson entered the game, everything changed. With a more robust delivery that held its line yet threatened to return, he first sent Brand back. Brand gave the wicketkeeper a slight advantage, undecided whether to play or leave the delivery. After two balls, an inswinger from Jamieson trapped rookie Raymond van Tonder directly in front of the stumps. After 15 overs, South Africa was reduced to 30 for 3, after Henry removed Moore with a snorter that he could only glove to Conway, who raced in from cover-point to complete a spectacular catch.

But Zubayr Hamza and David Bedingham went after their rivals. Before Bedingham smacked Southee for three fours in the following over, Hamza hit Henry for two consecutive fours. Henry dropped Bedingham at deep backward square leg, but apart from that, he appeared to be in good health. Before Santner trapped Hamza for a fourth wicket, the pair put up 44 runs in 53 balls.

By the time play ended on the second day, Bedingham finished with 29 runs off 39 balls, five fours, and the company of Keegan Peterson on 2.

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