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Rebellious Delaware Grandhomme maintains New Zealand in the game, South Africa.

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De Grandhomme scored unbeaten 120 runs in New Zealand's first innings against South Africa. (Photo credit: Twitter @BLACKCAPS)

Colin de Grandhomme on Sunday continued to be unbeaten with 120 runs while New Zealand crawled to a solid score, but less than South Africa’s first-innings score of 364. In the first innings, Protea’s opener Sarel Erwee was a star in the 100th century of his career. Captain Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram were also a valuable addition to the bat. Protea lost two wickets in the early stages in pursuit of the record score, but Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls offered some stability. The 133-run team of De Grandhomme and Daryl Mitchell spared the world champions from the glare.

Ankle injury

De Grandhomme was troubled by an ankle injury during the 2020-21 season, and he was forced to miss three home games. The surgery in March left him out for at least six weeks. The medical director of the board believed that he’d require two weeks more to be able to use the bowl. His all-rounder tag was off for a while in his role as a specialist bat with the Northern Districts. He was able to return on New Zealand’s trip to England in the past year and was part of the team which took home the World Test Championship.

A successful county outing

De Grandhomme then left to take up county cricket with Hampshire. De Grandhomme became Hampshire’s eighth county player to score a century in the first class on his debut and remained unbeaten at 171 against Surrey in the early part of June. He scored 17 fours and three sixes to achieve the highest score in first-class cricket. He also bowled a stunning bowl of 8-7-6-1 during the game.

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However, the form of his game deteriorated in shorter formats because his place within the team was put under review. At the same time, De Grandhomme was considered a crucial cog during home games; however, his spot as a member of the squad for international tours was unclear. De Grandhomme opted out of New Zealand’s tour to India in November, citing his time spent in the bio bubble and isolation. De Grandhomme was then dropped to play the Bangladesh Tests in New Zealand.

South Africa series Grandhomme

New Zealand recalled De Grandhomme for their game at home against South Africa. De Grandhomme had a decent first game and scored 45 runs in the Kiwi’s only innings. However, in the second innings, He stood as the pillar of his team, keeping them from the possibility of a collapse. De Grandhomme scored only his second century in 27 Tests using the 138 deliveries. He scored his first delivery on the third day to create a boundary and continued to strike in the pursuit of his century. He needed only 36 deliveries to his fifty, but he required over three times that amount over the next 50. After New Zealand was bowled out for 293, he returned unbeaten, scoring a record-setting 120.

As his career is on its final leg at the age of 35, this may have been one of his best performance with the ball in white to New Zealand, who have the task of a lifetime when England arrive in the early part of June for a three-test series. De Grandhomme is expected to be a significant player to keep his team in the right direction for defending their World Test Championship title.

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