The victory, achieved in the first Test at Mount Maunganui, not only solidified New Zealand’s bid for a second WTC final appearance but also showcased their formidable cricketing credentials.
The Kiwis, who clinched the inaugural WTC title, outclassed South Africa with a well-rounded performance, propelling them to the top of the rankings with an impressive 66.66 percent points percentage.
This remarkable ascent saw them leapfrog the previous WTC finalists, India and Australia, to claim the pole position in the current cycle.
Despite having played only three Test matches in the ongoing WTC cycle, New Zealand’s stellar record, which includes drawing a series against Bangladesh and a decisive victory over South Africa, underscores their dominance in the longest format of the game.
Following the conclusion of the first Test against South Africa, Australia descended to the second position, while India slipped to third.
In contrast, South Africa’s defeat relegated them to the seventh spot in the rankings, with Bangladesh, Pakistan, and the West Indies ahead of them.
Led by captain Kane Williamson‘s twin centuries and Rachin Ravindra‘s double ton, New Zealand established a commanding position by the end of Day 3’s play.
On the fourth day, with overcast conditions prevailing at the Bay Oval, New Zealand’s pace spearhead Kyle Jamieson delivered a lethal blow, claiming two crucial wickets after lunch to dent South Africa’s chase.
Spinner Mitchell Santner joined the onslaught, wrapping up South Africa’s innings at 247 and sealing New Zealand’s emphatic victory.
(With inputs from ANI)