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Third Test proves de Grandhomme up to task

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/03/2017 Angelo Risso
Colin de Grandhomme. © MARTY MELVILLE/AFP/Getty Images Colin de Grandhomme.

Black Caps all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme has been lauded for his performance in the Test side's series decider against South Africa.

Serving as New Zealand's makeshift opening bowler alongside Matt Henry, the 30-year-old shone with both the leather and willow as his side secured a draw in a rain-soaked Hamilton, handing the Proteas a 1-0 series victory.

De Grandhomme picked up three wickets across the two innings and twice snared opener Dean Elgar, as well as knocking a speedy 57 with the bat in his side's 489.

His showing follows on from that seen in the side's second-Test loss in Wellington, where he struggled at the crease but nabbed another three scalps.

Skipper Kane Williamson said de Grandhomme could emulate Proteas counterpart Vernon Philander, who bowls with minimal pace but consistently hits an excellent length and exploits seam movement to swing the ball.

"We see Colin aspiring towards that level and he's performed extremely well with the ball in hand, a new ball, created a number of opportunities," Williamson said.

Kiwi mentor Mike Hesson echoed his captain's remarks, saying the Zimbabwe-born all-rounder had unlocked the Elgar conundrum where others failed.

Elgar spanked 140 and 89 in the first Test in Dunedin but couldn't cope with de Grandhomme's swing and was subsequently removed by him thrice.

Hesson felt the six-cap de Grandhomme's confidence would only grow with more international cricket, having made his Test debut in November.

He's also played nine ODIs for New Zealand and eight T20 internationals.

"Some people knock Colin, say he's bowling 125km an hour tops, but he's a very clever bowler and very skilful," Hesson said.

"If you look at his record, he's taken batsmen wickets. He's not cleaning up the tail-enders, he's genuinely taking top-order wickets."

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