New Zealand quicks make deep inroads into South Africa

Durban—The first day of Test cricket in August at Kingsmead felt like a play. There was the roguish charmer, Trent Boult, making the new ball weave shapes the batsman couldn’t fathom. There was the graceful warrior, Hashim Amla, finding the boundary with the softest of touches. There was the man who defies pain, Neil Wagner, summoning bouncers late in the day. There was guts from Temba Bavuma. And finally there was Mitchell Santner, the sneaky saboteur who ensured the curtains came down with New Zealand smiling.
South Africa, having opted to bat, lurched from 102 for 2 to 160 for 5 and were finally holding on at 236 for 8 at stumps, with Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn at the crease.
There was a distinct narrative in each session of play. The first was for the purists, and for those moved by drama, for Boult was slaying an old demon. Ever since a back injury in June 2015, he had looked a paler force. His average bobbed over 36, he leaked three runs an over, and some were worried he had lost his inswing. Considering a stress fracture to his back had threatened his career before it even began – he was set to make his Test debut as a 19-year-old in Australia in 2009, instead he spent two years out of the game – Boult running in and hunting for the top of off stump at 140 kph was a pleasing sight. His first spell of eight overs included three maidens, plenty of jaffas, and the wicket of opener Stephen Cook.—AFP

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