Losing wickets at crucial times has put the Proteas under pressure, says Hashim Amla.
Throughout the day, the Kiwis took wickets just as partnerships were building, which restricted the Proteas to 236-8 when bad light stopped play on the first day of the first Test at Kingsmead.
The wicket, he said, didn’t help.
‘We have known over the years that Kingsmead is one of the more difficult wickets to score big runs. One ball will do something at some stage which might have your number on it. A few of us got out to dismissals that could have been avoided, we didn’t capitalise on the starts which was our fault today.’
Amla was one of the more successful batsmen, scoring a brisk 53 off 71 balls. Only Temba Bavuma came close to matching that, with 46 off a patient 90 balls, while Quinton de Kock added a cavalier 33 off 33.
But it was the inability to stick around which cost them, says the former captain.
‘Quite a few of us got in but unfortunately didn’t capitalise and make it big to get us to a better total,’ he said. ‘There were some encouraging signs; guys were batting really nicely but unfortunately Test cricket is about scoring big hundreds. We managed to get some good batting spells but not long enough unfortunately.
‘Credit to New Zealand; their first spell in the first session made it difficult and Stephen [Cook] and Dean [Elgar] did an exceptional job to see that off as best as they could.’
They put on 33 in the first hour as the ball moved from the start. But they fell in quick succession, which meant that South Africa had to rebuild. That set the tone for the day.
‘There was a period where they bowled well, when Faf [Du Plessis] and Temba [Bavuma] were batting. Credit to them, they saw it out just before tea. That is Test cricket, you are going to go through pockets where you score runs and other pockets of play where you have to grind it out like we did. Unfortunately none of us got through those periods to make it big.’
Kagiso Rabada (14) and Dale Steyn (2) are at the crease. They will be scratching for every run they can get.
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