Despite difficult batting conditions in the first Test between New Zealand and South Africa, it seems destined for a draw with the match moving slowly and rain likely to interfere. Join The Roar for live scores of Day 5 in Dunedin from the early time of 8:40am (AEDT).
The fourth day’s play was curtailed five overs early thanks to bad light, but it may not have made much of a difference with the chance of rain forecast to be 80 per cent from 4am on the final day.
That means, even if it does relent the ground will probably be wet and we will lose overs that way anyway. An early starting time gives us a chance to make up the overs, but conditions might stop us.
If we are to get a full day then it’s New Zealand who hold the upper hand, at least in the short term despite having to bat last and chase a reasonable score on a pitch that worked well for South Africa’s spinner Keshav Maharaj.
The tourists came into the fourth day’s play with a five-run lead, but already a wicket down. That came after Maharaj took five wickets to limit the Kiwis to a lead of just 33 on first innings.
For the second time in the match, Dean Elgar has been the man to save the day for South Africa, eventually dismissed for 89 after racking up a big century in the first innings.
He had little support from the rest of the order, with the only other batsman to go past 50 being Faf Du Plessis who is 56 not out at stumps.
The pressure on him early today will be enormous as he bats with the tail, trying to guide South Africa from 6 for 224 and a lead of 191, to something they can defend.
Day 5 prediction
Unfortunately, the weather is probably going to send this match for a draw, and even with a full day the Proteas might get one anyway.
Runs have been hard to find so if their final four wickets get them through the early part of the day, the chances of New Zealand being able to chase more than 200 in limited time without blowing up and losing is quite low.
Victory for South Africa will require them to last some time with the four remaining wickets and then bowl well with the rain holding off.
Be sure to join The Roar for live scores of the final day’s play in Dunedin from 8:40am (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment below.