South Africa news: Rassie van der Dussen says 300 would be a bonus

Rassie van der Dussen

South Africa batter Rassie van der Dussen believes that a target of 270-280 would give the Proteas bowlers enough to work with to level the series against New Zealand.

The second Test sits delicately poised after New Zealand were bowled out for 293, but the hosts made inroads into the South Africa batting and by stumps, on day three, the visitors were 140 for 5.

Van der Dussen hopes the last established pair of Kyle Verreynne and Wiaan Mulder and the tail can tack on enougn runs to set them up to level the series.

“We’re looking at anything around 270 or 280 plus,” van der Dussen said.

“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 himself fell to the short stuff from former teammate Neil Wagner.

He said there was no surprise in what Wagner does but that doesn’t make him any easier to face.

“When I made my first-class debut 14 years ago, we were in the same team,” van der Dussen said of Wagner.

“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.

“What we saw in this last session is that the ball sat up a bit on the short length,” van der Dussen said. “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.”

South Africa’s attempts to move the game forward weren’t as successful as they might have hoped but they are confident that the game is still within their grasp.

“We went out looking to play on the front foot. We looked to put pressure on them,” van der Dussen said.

“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.”