The West Indies Women open their Women’s ICC World Cup campaign against New Zealand tonight in poor batting form and Captain Stafanie Taylor believes that if the team is to be competitive, they have to turn that form around and bat with better consistency.

In two warm-up matches against Australia and India, the West Indies Women failed to score 200 runs each time losing by 90 and 81 runs, respectively. And while Head Coach Courtney Walsh preferred to focus on the positives, the realities of the situation are that if they are to do well, they have to produce scores well above 200 runs consistently.

Those thoughts were communicated at a recent team meeting.

"We had our meeting and we said that to be competitive we have to be scoring over two hundred runs," Taylor said in a pre-match interview. "In the two games that we played, we didn't do so. So that's something that we've had a look at and, moving forward, that's something that we need to work at."

Taylor believes the players need to spend time at the crease building innings that will give the team opportunities to get big scores that will give them better chances against Australia, India and tonight’s opponents, New Zealand.

"When it comes down to the longer format, we just need to spend more time out there in the middle. That's an area that we've been falling down a lot in, rotating the strike and try to build more partnerships. We haven't been building a lot of partnerships so hence the reason why we keep falling down in that department," Taylor argued while acknowledging that there has been less dependence of batters like Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews and her, to get runs.

In recent times, players like Kycia Knight and Chedean Nation have been getting good scores but other batters still need to step up with greater frequency, Taylor said.

"The other batters are starting to contribute. What we need to do is be in that collective in each game, be consistent. That's something that I've talked about a lot, being consistent, not just one or two batters always performing and probably looking at how teams are playing, a lot more fifties, batters stepping up and taking that responsibility. As batters we have to do that more consistently," Taylor said.

West Indies suffered an 81-run loss to India in their second ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup warm-up match in Rangiora on Tuesday.

India won the toss and decided to bat first, getting to 258 all out from their 50 overs with Smriti Madhana top-scoring, with 66 off 67 balls, and Deepti Sharma getting 51 from 64 deliveries.

Cherry Ann-Fraser (2-24 off 5 overs), Karishma Ramharack (2-50 off 10 overs), and Hayley Matthews (2-47 off 8 overs) were the best bowlers for the Windies.

Despite a top score of 63 from Shemaine Campbelle and 44 from Hayley Matthews, the West Indies chase never got out of first gear and they were eventually restricted to 177-9 off their 50 overs.

Pooja Vastrakar was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3-21 off seven overs while Meghna Smith, Deepti Sharma, and Rajeshwari Gayakwad all took two wickets each.

The West Indies will kick off their World Cup campaign on Thursday against hosts New Zealand at Mount Maunganui.

 

South Africa secured a drawn series with New Zealand as they clinched a 198-run win on the final day of the second Test in Christchurch.

New Zealand began day five on 94-4 but their hopes of holding on to seal a series win were dashed by the Proteas' attack.

Devon Conway was the man holding the New Zealand second innings together, resuming unbeaten on 60.

But he fell eight runs shy of a century and his exit opened the floodgates as the emerging Marco Jansen excelled with the ball and Keshav Maharaj claimed the final wicket to ensure the spoils were shared.

Lutho Sipamla removed Conway when he trapped him lbw with a full delivery and the Black Caps' resistance was never the same thereafter.

Tom Blundell (44) missed out on a half-century and, more importantly, removed himself as a set batsman when his half-hearted pull shot off Jansen only went as far as Temba Bavuma at midwicket.

Left-armer Jansen then removed Colin de Grandhomme, scorer of an unbeaten century in the first innings, with a short ball, leaving the tail to try to prolong the inevitable.

Kagiso Rabada ran to deep leg side to help Jansen secure his third by dismissing Kyle Jamieson before Rabada got in the act himself, drawing an edge to midwicket from Tim Southee.

Rain arrived to frustrate South Africa and force umpires to call an early tea, but the Proteas' wait for the decisive wicket was ended when Maharaj trapped Matt Henry in front for a duck.

More Marco magic

After being limited to two wickets in the first Test, Jansen was back to more prolific form here, following up 4-98 in the first innings with 3-63 in the second. He has taken at least five wickets in all but one of his five Test matches and claimed seven in three of his last four.

Rabada (3-46) finished with eight wickets in the match while spinner Maharaj provided crucial support with 3-75.

Elgar stays unbeaten

Having overseen a victory in the West Indies and a home win over India, a drawn series in New Zealand means Dean Elgar is still yet to lose a series as South Africa captain. If a young attack keeps performing at this level, he will be able to look forward to plenty more victories.

Despite losing by 90 runs to Australia in their warm-up match on the weekend, West Indies Women Captain Stafanie Taylor remains optimistic about how well her team will perform during the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup campaign.

That said, she opined that she doesn’t mind if the 2016 champions are considered underdogs this time around, saying that the team is a good space and is focused on the task at hand and that they won’t be letting anything distract them from taking the tournament one game at a time.

“I think we're in a really good space at the moment. The two practice games are for us to focus on ourselves and work on ourselves before the first official game against New Zealand,” Taylor said.

“We don't mind being underdogs. It’s good that we don’t get too ahead of ourselves, and some people don't look at us being a 50-over team, but I’ve seen us getting better and better so that's a plus for us.”

The West Indies Women will take on India in the second of their two warm-up games at the Rangiora Oval in Christchurch on Tuesday.

South Africa need six wickets on the final day for victory after Kyle Verreynne's maiden Test century left New Zealand needing to pull off a record run chase in the second Test.

New Zealand will resume on day five at 94-4, trailing by 332 runs after the Proteas declared at 354-9, setting the Black Caps an improbable target of 426 to win.

If the Proteas manage to clinch victory, it will deny New Zealand their first-ever Test series victory over South Africa after dominating the first Test at the same venue, Hagley Oval, last week.

New Zealand faced 42 overs after Dean Elgar's declaration late in the middle session, with Kagiso Rabada adding two more wickets to his first-innings five-wicket haul, while Keshav Maharaj also claimed two dismissals.

Verreynne was crucial to South Africa establishing complete dominance having resumed on day four at 5-140, with an overall lead of 211 runs.

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman was the perennial figure as the Proteas added 214 runs to their overnight score, with handy contributions from Wiann Mulder (35) and Kagiso Rabada (47), whose knock came from 34 balls and was a career high with the bat.

Verreynne and Rabada combined for a 78-run eighth-wicket stand which took the life out of New Zealand, who had hoped for a final-innings target no greater than 300.

Shortly after Rabada was dismissed, Verreynne brought up his maiden Test century swiping a length ball wide of fine leg.

Verreynne finished unbeaten on 136, with Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner all claiming two wickets each.

Tasked with a record run chase, New Zealand's pursuit started disastrously with Rabada dismissing Will Young and Tom Latham in the first and third overs. New Zealand were soon 25-3 when Maharaj - who sent down 16 overs in a row - bowled Henry Nicholls.

Devon Conway (60*) and Daryl Mitchell steadied the innings but Maharaj dismissed the latter for 24 late in the day.

Record run chase required

South Africa's declaration left New Zealand needing an unlikely 426 to win, which exceeds the current fourth-innings world record chase of 418 by West Indies against Australia in St John's in 2003. With the Black Caps four down, that is unlikely to be threatened.

Verreynne firming as worthy de Kock's successor

Verreynne's opportunity in the Proteas line-up has come following Quinton de Kock's premature retirement and he is beginning to prove he is the future for South Africa after only six Tests.

South Africa needs six wickets on the final day for victory after Kyle Verreynne's maiden Test century left New Zealand needing to pull off a record run chase in the second Test.

New Zealand will resume on day five at 94-4, trailing by 332 runs after the Proteas declared at 354-9, setting the Black Caps an improbable target of 426 to win.

If the Proteas manage to clinch victory, it will deny New Zealand their first-ever Test series victory over South Africa after dominating the first Test at the same venue, Hagley Oval, last week.

New Zealand faced 42 overs after Dean Elgar's declaration late in the middle session, with Kagiso Rabada adding two more wickets to his first-innings five-wicket haul, while Keshav Maharaj also claimed two dismissals.

Verreynne was crucial to South Africa establishing complete dominance having resumed on day four at 5-140, with an overall lead of 211 runs.

The South African wicketkeeper-batsman was the perennial figure as the Proteas added 214 runs to their overnight score, with handy contributions from Wiann Mulder (35) and Kagiso Rabada (47), whose knock came from 34 balls and was a career high with the bat.

Verreynne and Rabada combined for a 78-run eighth-wicket stand which took the life out of New Zealand, who had hoped for a final-innings target no greater than 300.

Shortly after Rabada was dismissed, Verreynne brought up his maiden Test century swiping a length ball wide of fine leg.

Verreynne finished unbeaten on 136*, with Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner all claiming two wickets each.

Tasked with a record run chase, New Zealand's pursuit started disastrously with Rabada dismissing Will Young and Tom Latham in the first and third overs. New Zealand were soon 25-3 when Maharaj  - who sent down 16 overs in a row - bowled Henry Nicholls.

Devon Conway (60*) and Daryl Mitchell steadied the innings but Maharaj dismissed the latter for 24 late in the day.

Record run chase required

South Africa's declaration left New Zealand needing an unlikely 426 to win, which exceeds the current fourth-innings world record chase of 418 by the West Indies against Australia in St John's in 2003. With the Black Caps four down, that is unlikely to be threatened.

Verreynne firming as worthy de Kock's successor

Verreynne's opportunity in the Proteas line-up has come following Quinton de Kock's premature retirement and he is beginning to prove he is the future for South Africa after only six Tests.

New Zealand rallied led by Colin de Grandhomme's century but South Africa remain well placed with a 211-run lead after three days of the second Test at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

The Proteas reached stumps at 140-5 with Kyle Verreyne (22*) and Wiaan Mulder (10*) at the crease after securing a 71-run first-innings advantage having bowled out the hosts for 293 led by Kagiso Rabada's five-wicket haul

New Zealand had resumed trailing by more than 200 runs with five wickets in hand, but de Grandhomme's 133-run sixth-wicket stand with Daryl Mitchell narrowed the deficit.

De Grandhomme remained unbeaten 120*, notching up his second Test century prior to lunch, after Mitchell was trapped lbw by Keshav Maharaj for 60.

Rabada (5-60) and Marco Jansen (4-98), who had employed a short-ball plan, finished off the Black Caps' resistance in the second session despite Neil Wagner's aggressive 21 from 18 balls that included three fours and a six.

New Zealand offered hope with three early breakthroughs, reducing South Africa to 38-3 with Tim Southee (2-28) dismissing both openers.

Southee trapped first-innings centurion Sarel Erwee lbw for 8 in the third over with an inswinger which the opener reviewed without success.

Tom Blundell pulled off a brilliant one-handed catch in the 11th over as Southee drew an edge from Dean Elgar bowling around the wicket.

Rassie van der Dussen steadied South Africa's innings with 45 before being caught and bowled by workhorse Wagner (2-44) who also took Temba Bavuma's wicket in the final session during a tireless spell.

Verreyne and Mulder took the Proteas' lead past 200, although New Zealand will remain hopeful of claiming the final five wickets promptly on day four and chasing a target below 300.

Black Caps remain hopeful

New Zealand are incredibly chasing their first-ever Test series victory over South Africa and would have been confident of achieving that after a dominant first Test triumph.

The Proteas are in control but de Grandhomme suggested there was hope within the camp. He said: "I think it's in the balance, they're a bit ahead, but if we can get a few quick wickets tomorrow, we can be back in it."

Rabada claims 11th Test five-fa

Rabada wrapped up the New Zealand batting innings with wickets from successive deliveries, utilizing the short ball for both dismissals.

The pair of wickets earned 26-year-old Rabada his 11th Test five-wicket haul but he is likely to have more work to do, ahead of the Black Caps' final-innings chase.

South Africa took control of the second Test in Christchurch on day two as Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen ripped through the New Zealand top order.

An unbeaten partnership of 66 between Colin de Grandhomme (54 not out) and Daryl Mitchell (29 not out) rescued the Black Caps from 91-5 after the tourists had reached 364 all out in their first innings.

The Proteas resumed on 238-3, but lost four wickets in the first session as Matt Henry and Neil Wagner picked up two each, before Wagner also dismissed Rabada (6) shortly after play resumed.

There was a brief rain delay during the second session that seemed to take the bowlers out of their rhythm as Jansen (37 not out) and Keshav Maharaj (36) added a handy partnership of 62 runs in 13 overs.

New Zealand's reply got off to the worst possible start as Rabada (3-37) struck twice to get rid of Tom Latham for a duck and Will Young for just three. Devon Conway (16) and Henry Nicholls (39) put up some resistance but both ultimately fell to poor shots against Jansen (2-48).

After Tom Blundell came and went, scoring six runs in his six balls, Mitchell and De Grandhomme set about trying to rescue things for their team.

Mitchell ticked over calmly while De Grandhomme hit a 36-ball 50, including two sixes, though was held up after that, mostly by Maharaj's dangerous spin as he scored just four more runs from his next 25 deliveries.

Dean Elgar burned his team's last review with the penultimate delivery of the day as Lutho Sipamla thought he had Mitchell lbw, but replays showed an inside edge as the hosts closed day two still 207 runs behind with five wickets remaining.

Jansen continues impressive start to Test career

This is just the fifth Test Jansen has played in but he is already stepping up in key moments, hitting an impressive 37 not out to add what could be crucial runs at the end of South Africa's first innings, before also doing damage with the ball.

The 21-year-old took an impressive 19 wickets in three Tests against India, and although he and his team-mates all struggled in the first Test in New Zealand, he in particular has come back with a bang at the Hagley Oval.

De Grandhomme rolls back the years

It was a difficult moment to arrive at the crease with his team still 273 runs behind and five wickets down, but the 35-year-old utilised his trademark aggression and attacked South Africa's bowlers, hitting the only two sixes of the Test so far.

This was De Grandhomme's ninth 50 of his Test career, but he has only gone on to score a century once (v West Indies in 2017). New Zealand could really do with him doubling that amount on day three.

South Africa bounced back from their insipid first Test performance with an impressive opening day to be 238-3 at stumps against New Zealand at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

Opener Sarel Erwee scored his maiden Test century in his second appearance, combining with skipper Dean Elgar for a 111-run first-wicket stand which set the tone for the day in the second Test.

The Black Caps had dominated the first Test in Christchurch, winning by an innings and 276 runs but the Proteas showed vastly more fight and application.

New Zealand were left frustrated with as many as five edges falling short in the slips with the pitch not as quick as the first Test, nor offering as much seam movement.

Elgar surprised many when he opted to bat after winning the toss but it proved a good call, making 41 alongside Erwee, before being bowled by a Tim Southee inswinger after getting through the first session unscathed.

Erwee brought up his maiden hundred with a boundary in the final over before tea, leaping into the air to celebrate.

Aidan Markram, who needed runs after a lean spell, was determined but lost focus and fell short of a half-century when Neil Wagner lured him into a drive which was caught by Daryl Mitchell at first slip for 42.

Erwee followed him back to the changerooms two balls later for 108, caught behind by Tom Blundell off Matt Henry from a loose drive.

Temba Bavuma survived two close calls in the same Henry over, with edges eluding the slips and racing away for boundaries.

After his nervy start, Bavuma eased the tension before getting through to stumps on 22* alongside Rassie van der Dussen (13*).

Patient Erwee navigates Black Caps 

Erwee brought up his half-century in the final over before lunch and then triple figures with four balls to go prior to tea. The 32-year-old left-hander patiently reached his century from 188 deliveries, with Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme combining for five consecutive maidens shortly prior to him achieving the elusive milestone. Erwee's stand with Elgar with South Africa's best opening partnership since December 2020.

Bold Elgar call pays off

Elgar's bold decision to bat raised some eyebrows, becoming the first captain to win the toss and not bowl at Hagley Oval. He also became the fourth skipper in the past 45 Tests played in New Zealand to win the toss and bat, remarkably coming after the Proteas were embarrassingly skittled for 95 and 111 in the first Test.

South Africa bounced back from their insipid first Test performance with an impressive opening day to be 238-3 at stumps against New Zealand at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

Opener Sarel Erwee scored his maiden Test century in his second appearance, combining with skipper Dean Elgar for a 111-run first-wicket stand which set the tone for the day in the second Test.

The Black Caps had dominated the first Test in Christchurch, winning by an innings and 276 runs but the Proteas showed vastly more fight and application.

New Zealand were left frustrated with as many as five edges falling short in the slips with the pitch not as quick as the first Test, nor offering as much seam movement.

Elgar surprised many when he opted to bat after winning the toss but it proved a good call, making 41 alongside Erwee, before being bowled by a Tim Southee inswinger after getting through the first session unscathed.

Erwee brought up his maiden hundred with a boundary in the final over before tea, leaping into the air to celebrate.

Aidan Markram, who needed runs after a lean spell, was determined but lost focus and fell short of a half-century when Neil Wagner lured him into a drive which was caught by Daryl Mitchell at first slip for 42.

Erwee followed him back to the changerooms two balls later for 108, caught behind by Tom Blundell off Matt Henry from a loose drive.

Temba Bavuma survived two close calls in the same Henry over, with edges eluding the slips and racing away for boundaries.

After his nervy start, Bavuma eased the tension before getting through to stumps on 22* alongside Rassie van der Dussen (13*).

Patient Erwee navigates Black Caps 

Erwee brought up his half-century in the final over before lunch and then triple figures with four balls to go prior to tea. The 32-year-old left-hander patiently reached his century from 188 deliveries, with Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme combining for five consecutive maidens shortly prior to him achieving the elusive milestone. Erwee's stand with Elgar with South Africa's best opening partnership since December 2020.

Bold Elgar call pays off

Elgar's bold decision to bat raised some eyebrows, becoming the first captain to win the toss and not bowl at Hagley Oval. He also became the fourth skipper in the past 45 Tests played in New Zealand to win the toss and bat, remarkably coming after the Proteas were embarrassingly skittled for 95 and 111 in the first Test.

Tom Latham insists the priority will be World Test Championship points when New Zealand face South Africa in the second and final Test of their series at the Hagley Oval on Thursday.

After thrashing the tourists in the first Test by an innings and 276 runs in just seven sessions, New Zealand will clinch their first ever Test series win against the Proteas should they avoid defeat in Christchurch.

However, Latham is keen for his team to keep their eyes on the prize they won last year, and not simply play for a draw to ensure a historic series win.

The Black Caps' stand-in captain, speaking at a media conference ahead of the second Test, said: "On the whole for us it's about the WTC and you get as many points as possible.

"Points at home are really vital. Nowadays in international cricket it's so hard to win away from home, so points in your own country are really important."

When asked about the possibility of playing for a draw, he added: "Yeah, if you look back a few years ago, where you know this wasn't the case, we had series which, if you won 1-0 then that was cool.

"But I guess nowadays the context that the WTC has had has been great for Test cricket and it just shows that you need to win every game, and that will be our challenge."

New Zealand are in sixth place in the WTC points table, with 46.66 percentage points after five matches. Following this series, their Test side travels to England and Pakistan.

South Africa will be looking for drastic improvement on their feeble showing in the first Test, where they scored just 95 and 111 in their two innings and allowed the hosts to amass 482 runs in reply.

Remarkably, it was New Zealand's first Test match victory against the Proteas since 2004, and they have lost 13 out of the last 16 series between the two, including the most recent six.

No Williamson? No Boult? No problem

Kane Williamson remains sidelined by injury, though New Zealand's batting hardly seemed to suffer without their regular captain, and coach Gary Stead confirmed Trent Boult will also miss out again.

The pace bowler missed the first Test as he was awaiting the birth of his third child, and Stead feels he has not had enough time in the nets since returning to be considered here.

"[He] is not in a position to be available with his loads and where he's at," Stead said.

"Since his wife has been having the baby, he's missed out on a lot of opportunities to play cricket and bowl. We just felt the risk of him playing was far too great at the moment."

Ngidi ruled out again

Although an inability to put runs on the board was a major factor in the first Test defeat – the second-biggest in South Africa's history – it was also frustrating for them to see New Zealand do so with relative ease.

South Africa certainly missed the bowling of Lungi Ngidi, and unfortunately will be without the 25-year-old again.

"Because he hasn't been able to bowl last week, I don't think his bowling loads are up to the standard of preparing for Test matches," Proteas captain Dean Elgar said to reporters regarding Ngidi, who missed the first Test with a back issue.

"He hasn't been training with us, he's only been bowling off a short run-up, which has been a bit of a setback for us. We know Lungi's been a key figure in our bowling line-up. So it's a bit disappointing that he's in the situation that he's in now."

Cricket West Indies (CWI) Women’s Selection Panel on Saturday named a 15-member West Indies Women’s squad to participate in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, to be played in New Zealand from March 4 to April 3.

Stafanie Taylor, one of the leading all-rounders in the history of the game, will lead the squad with off-spinner Anisa Mohammed as vice-captain for her fifth Cricket World Cup.

The squad includes several exciting young players who will be competing at the marquee event for the first time. These are spinner Karishma Ramharack, fast bowler Aaliyah Alleyne, seamer Cherry Ann Fraser, allrounder Chinelle Henry, and opening batter Rashada Williams.

The 15-member squad will be joined by three traveling reserves, Kaysia Schultz, Mandy Mangru, and Jannillea Glasgow as per the ICC’s medical protocols for the tournament.

“The squad selected shows a blend of youth and experience. We have Anisa Mohammed who’s playing in her fifth World Cup and will help guide the younger ones selected. We have five players who have had their maiden Cricket World Cup selection. The team just completed a series against South Africa where the players got good preparation before the tournament. There were some relatively good showings with a few players having outstanding performances and it is expected that they would raise their levels even further during the competition. Afy Fletcher’s return strengthens the bowling department as she continues to be a world-class leg-spinner,” CWI’s Lead Selector for Women’s cricket Ann Browne-John said.

The eight-team tournament will start with a group stage round, where all teams play each other once before the top four sides compete in the semi-finals and finals. 

The West Indies Women will open their title chase against host country New Zealand on March 4 at Bay Oval in Tauranga. Their seventh and final match of the group stage is against South Africa on March 24 at Basin Reserve in Wellington. Semi-final one will be played on March 30 at Basin Reserve in Wellington, with semi-final 2 on March 31 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch. The final will be played on April 3 at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

The full squad is as follows: Stafanie Taylor (Captain), Anisa Mohammed (Vice-Captain), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Deandra Dottin, Afy Fletcher, Cherry Ann Fraser, Chinelle Henry, Kycia Knight, Hayley Matthews, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Rashada Williams. Travelling Reserves: Kaysia Schultz, Mandy Mangru, Jannillea Glasgow

South Africa captain Dean Elgar suggested that his side were trying too hard to force a result against New Zealand after they slumped to a historic loss in the first Test.

The Black Caps won by an innings and 276 runs, as the visitors were bowled all out for 95 and 111 respectively in what was their second-worst-ever defeat.

The triumph was New Zealand's first in the Test arena against South Africa since 2004, a run remarkably dating back 16 matches.

Elgar, however, refused to lay the blame at the feet of South Africa's disrupted build-up, with no warm-up matches having been held for the two-match tour, stressing that his side need to hold themselves accountable.

"I can't say it was nerves," the opener told reporters. "We were so deep into the game, those nerves were out of our system.

"It's extremely difficult to build pressure when runs are being scored on both sides of the wicket. It also boils down to guys trying too hard. The harder you try, the more you fail.

"I am not going to use quarantine as an excuse. We are here to represent our country, and we need to be firing by the time match day comes. If that is an excuse, it's a very weak excuse to be using."

Elgar offered his backing to number three Aiden Markram however, though conceded that the batsman's fall in form over recent months at Test level is a concern.

"It's not foreign that he has been struggling," he added said.

"Maybe it's the mental game he is fighting. Naturally he is a gifted player and he is one score away from turning things around."

Stand-in skipper Latham hails depth power

New Zealand's work in Christchurch was doubly impressive given the absence of Kane Williamson and Trent Boult, with the game the first time the Black Caps have played a Test without them or Ross Taylor for 14 years.

Stand-in captain Tom Latham was quick to hail the strength in reserve on show, adding: "It is testament to the depth in New Zealand cricket that guys who haven't played a lot can step up and come up and perform straight away."

Proteas make unwanted history

Aside from suffering their second-worst loss in Test cricket – behind only their innings and 360 runs loss to Australia in 2002 – South Africa also wrote themselves into some more unwanted record books.

Their result was the biggest margin of defeat suffered by a Test side in the past decade, while no South Africa player individually scored more than New Zealand number 11 Matt Henry did in his lone knock, with 58 – just the fifth time the feat has been achieved.

New Zealand claimed seven wickets in the first session on day three to clinch an emphatic first Test victory over South Africa by an innings and 276 runs in Christchurch on Saturday.

Neil Southee added to his two day-two wickets with three more to complete a five-wicket haul as the Proteas capitulated to be all out for 111.

The triumph was New Zealand's first in the Test arena against South Africa since 2004, remarkably dating back 16 matches.

Yet it could not be more dominant, with South Africa bowled out for 95 in the first innings, with the Black Caps responding with 482 led by Henry Nicholls' century.

Black Caps captain Tom Latham said: "It's a fantastic performance. Winning the toss was a big part of it. It's probably the perfect performance."

New Zealand quick Matt Henry was named Player of the Match after claiming the opening wicket on the third day bowling Rassie van der Dussen, to finish with 2-32 to go with his first-innings seven-wicket haul and unbeaten 58*.

South Africa offered minimal resistance after resuming at 34-3, trailing by 353 runs, lasting only 41.4 overs in the second innings with Temba Bavuma top scoring with 41.

Bavuma teamed up with wicketkeeper Kyle Verreynne (30) for a sixth-wicket stand that offered hope of any semblance of a rearguard but he fell lbw to Neil Wagner (2-19), prompting a swift collapse.

The Proteas lost 24-5 upon Bavuma's dismissal, with Southee finishing with figures of 5-35, including the final scalp of Glenton Stuurman after a successful review to seal victory.

Southee also surpassed Richard Hadlee as New Zealand's all-time leading wicket-taker in Test cricket on home soil.

South Africa slumps to second-worst loss

It was a dismal defeat for South Africa, whose batsmen struggled throughout the contest, managing only 206 runs for the game. The loss was the tourists' second-biggest ever in Test cricket.

No Proteas' batsman managed a half-century while Bavuma and Verreynne's 41-run partnership was the side's best for the game.

Headaches for dominant Black Caps 

Reigning ICC Test world champions New Zealand are well placed to clinch the two-game series, barring a stunning turnaround in the second Test starting on Friday, also at Christchurch's Hagley Oval.

The Black Caps will have selection headaches for the second Test, with Trent Boult due to return from paternity leave, while Henry impressed covering for him and likely is not droppable.

New Zealand are on the brink of recording a big win over South Africa after a superb second day for the hosts in Christchurch.

Henry Nicholls scored his eighth Test century, with Tom Blundell falling just short of 100, as the Blackcaps finished on 482 all-out for their first innings.

That was in response to South Africa's measly total of 95 from day one, though the Proteas had hit back with the late wickets of Will Young and stand-in captain Tom Latham.

Neil Wagner, however, frustrated the tourists and decided to go out to entertain in Friday's first session, striking seven boundaries and two sixes off South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada (2-113) and Glenton Stuurman (1-124).

Rabada got his revenge when he dismissed Wagner on 49, but the damage to South Africa's spirit had already been done. Indeed, even though Sturrman sent Daryl Mitchell (16) back to the pavilion and Aiden Markram (2-27) ended Nicholls' stand at 105, Colin de Grandhomme and Blundell put on a 76-run seventh-wicket partnership.

Blundell helped nail South Africa further into submission alongside number 11 Matt Henry, who followed up his seven-for from day one with a brilliant 58 not-out.

Marco Jansen eventually ended Blundell's stint, and New Zealand's innings, but there was more misery to come for the Proteas, who lost Sarel Erwee leg before wicket to Tim Southee (2-20) in the first over.

Dean Elgar fell to Henry (1-13), with Southee then claiming Markram's wicket to reduce South Africa to 4-3. Rassie van der Dussen (nine) and Temba Bavuma (22) steadied the ship, but matters look bleak for the tourists, who reached stumps 34-3 and trailing by 353.

Quick-scoring Blackcaps prove relentless

Wicketkeeper Blundell's 96 came from 138 balls and included 12 fours, while De Grandhomme's 45 was achieved from 42 deliveries at a strike rate of 107.14 as, along with Nicholls, the duo truly took the game away from South Africa after Christchurch native Nicholls had inflicted the initial major damage.

New Zealand had four partnerships of 50 or more, while South Africa's best in the first innings was 33.

More joy for stand-in Henry

Having been called up due to Trent Boult's absence – the bowler is on paternity leave – Henry has surely made himself undroppable.

He collected seven wickets on day one and then showed his class with the bat, becoming the first number 11 to score 50 after taking a seven-for.

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