Since February 1973, it is for the first time that a four-day Test match is being played. The Boxing Day match between Zimbabwe and South Africa is certainly one of its kind. It is also the first Day Night Test in the four-day format of the game. The game had a contrasting pitch effect with drastic changes in condition.
While during the day, there were ample runs, in sessions after dark, bowlers became surprisingly dominant. South Africa batting first scored 251 runs in the first two sessions. By end of the inning, the team scored 309 runs for 9 runs. Zimbabwe started its inning with massive slump at the beginning. Batting by the third session of the second day, the team wobbled to 30 runs for 4 wickets.
South Africa batsman Aiden Markram scored the second test century in the previous inning. However, playing under lights, adverse conditions struck the team. The team plummeted from 272 for 4 to 309 for 9 by the end of the inning. In the stretch, South Africa could only score 37 runs. In the day stretch, although Zimbabwe could remove four wickets, the bowling was slackened.
Dean Elgar and Markram played 21.3 overs together to bring 72 runs. The players were eliminated at a gap of less than 3 overs, ending the opening partnership. AB de Villiers scored 53 runs partnering with Markram. The batsman scored 125 runs playing 204 balls. He was in the crease until the 66th over.
Zimbabwe, however, had a woeful start losing four wickets by the 11th over. The team scored only 14 runs in the stretch. The first ball of the inning took off Hamilton Masakadza for an lbw. Morne Morkel struck once again in the seven over taking down next opener Chamu Chibhabha. He removed Brendon Taylor in the ninth over finishing with 3 wickets for 20 runs. After the 10 over, Vernon Philander got removed Craig Ervine at just 4 runs with an lbw.
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