De Swardt and Von Berg keep Proteas afloat against Black Caps

At the close of play, De Swardt was on 55 not out and Von Berg was unbeaten on 34.

A defiant partnership between Ruan de Swardt and Shaun von Berg kept the Proteas afloat on Tuesday as they put up a valiant fight on the first day of the second Test against New Zealand in Hamilton.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, most of the touring team’s top order made starts, but they failed to convert as they reached 150/6 shortly after the tea break.

De Swardt stuck his heels in at the crease, however, hitting his maiden half-century in his second Test.

The 26-year-old all-rounder shared an unbroken 70-run stand for the seventh wicket with 37-year-old debutant Von Berg.

The duo guided their team to 220/6 at stumps, with De Swardt on 55 not out and Von Berg unbeaten on 34.

Ravindra shines again

Rachin Ravindra, who starred with the bat by scoring a double century in the first Test last week, was the best of the Black Caps bowlers. He took 3/33 after ripping through the Proteas’ middle order.

South Africa will hope their tail keeps kicking when they resume their first innings with four wickets in hand in the early hours of Wednesday morning (SA time).

With a largely inexperienced team, the tourists will be desperate to put up a competitive first-innings total in an attempt to prevent a historic Test series defeat to their hosts.