Looking at anything around 270-280: SA’s Rassie van der Dussen

South Africa batter Rassie van der Dussen feels that a score above 270 or 280 will be apt as a target for New Zealand in the second Test at the Hagley Oval. On day three of the Test, South Africa were in trouble at 38/3 in 17 overs. But van der Dussen (45 off 85 balls) and Temba Bavuma (23 off 51 balls) put a stand of 65 for the fourth wicket to resurrect the innings.

Though New Zealand dismissed the duo, Kyle Verreynne and Wiaan Mulder held on to reach a lead of 211 at stumps.

“We’re looking at anything around 270 or 280 plus. If we can emulate what we did in the first innings with our tailenders and get to the 300 mark, mentally that would be a good mark for us. Hopefully we can start well tomorrow (Monday) and get through their first spells. Their bodies will be sore. To bowl 40 overs in three days is a lot,” van der Dussen was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo in the virtual press conference.

Van der Dussen was appreciative of left-arm pacer Neil Wagner’s nine-over spell in the final session, where he took him out as well as Bavuma. “When I made my first-class debut 14 years ago, we were in the same team. I knew what his plans were, it’s quite straightforward. We know him, we know what he does. He has a big tank, he keeps running in. Sometimes you have to say to a guy well done.”

Talking about his manner of dismissal to Wagner, van der Dussen conceded that he had looked to attack more against the New Zealand pace attack and eventually, ran out of luck.

“We went out looking to play on the front foot. We looked to put pressure on them. But they’ve got world class bowlers in terms of discipline. They don’t give you much. I went out a bit more streaky than I usually play. I knew I had to try and put some pressure on them to build the lead and I ran out of luck.”

Van der Dussen signed off by saying that the pitch becoming two-paced in nature may turn out to be a positive for South Africa while bowling.

“What we saw in this last session is that the ball sat up a bit on the short length. If the wicket gets two-paced, it becomes really tricky. Temba also went out in a way that he doesn’t often go out and the ball just stuck a bit in the wicket. That will be a good signs for us. If it goes sideways and then stops a little, it does get tricky to score runs. Not always that tricky to survive but tricky to score runs.”

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