Wesley Botton

By Wesley Botton

Chief sports journalist

Williamson ‘set the template’ for struggling Proteas, says Petersen

Keegan Petersen produced the strongest resistance for the SA team, hitting a patient 45 runs off 132 balls.

Middle-order batter Keegan Petersen said he had followed the approach of in-form opponent Kane Williamson after trying to put up a fight for the Proteas on day three of the first Test against New Zealand.

South Africa had no response with bat or ball on Tuesday, and were left facing an insurmountable task at the close of play at Mount Maunganui.

After resuming their first innings at 80/4 in the morning, still trailing by 431 runs, the Proteas were unable to launch much of a recovery.

Petersen produced the strongest resistance, hitting a patient 45 runs off 132 balls, but the tourists were unable to bounce back from a top-order collapse as they were bundled out for 162 midway through the second session.

Leading by 349 runs at the start of their second innings, the Black Caps strengthened their grip with Williamson (118) racing to his second century of the match.

The Black Caps reached 179/4 at stumps, holding a 528-run lead with six wickets remaining in their second innings.

“I kind of looked at Kane and the way he went about his first innings,” Petersen said after stumps were drawn.

“It took a bit of time, which set the template for the rest of us to see that it’s not a free-flowing wicket. There’s not much in it and it’s going to take time to score runs.”

Still fighting

Though he admitted a victory was beyond their reach, Petersen insisted the Proteas were eager to keep fighting with two days remaining in the match.

“To keep the spirits up I think we’ve just got to believe that we can still get a result out of this game,” he said.

“We can draw the game, or try our best to draw it. I think winning is a bit far-fetched now but we’ll try our best to get there.”

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