New Zealand make solid start after South Africa dismissed for 308

Mar 10, 2017, 00:38
New Zealand make solid start after South Africa dismissed for 308

Following the first Test, the teams head to Wellington before concluding the series in Hamilton.

South Africa resumed day two on 229 for four and added a cautious 23 in 12 overs before Neil Wagner claimed the crucial wicket of Dean Elgar to end his 104-run partnership with Temba Bavuma.

Fortunately for the skipper, a desperate lunge spared New Zealand's blushes.

For New Zealand Trent Boult took 4-64, Neil Wagner 3-88, Patel 2-85, Jimmy Neesham 1-34 and Mitchell Santner 0-32.

Philander then made the early breakthrough, dismissing Tom Latham for 10, but Jeet Raval and Kane Williamson continued to the tea break with the Black Caps going steadily on 59-1.

Elgar admitted to being surprised New Zealand had dropped "their trump card" in strike bowler Tim Southee to make room for an extra spinner.

The 29-year-old finished on 128 not out and also combined with captain Faf du Plessis (52) for a 126-run partnership that resurrected his side's innings after they had slumped to 22-3 in a hard first session of the three-match series.

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Bavuma went to a 143-ball half-century, his first in eight innings since Hobart against Australia, and the reward for his watchfulness started to come when he took three boundaries off the last over of Wagner's spell: a clip, a pull through midwicket and a flat-batted swat straight past mid-on.

But South Africa will wonder how they left so many runs out there in the insipid sunshine.

De Villiers's flashing bat produced 262 runs in the five one-day matches at an average of 87.33, while his calm assuredness guided the side through several tense moments in New Zealand.

New Zealand had nine overs with the new ball before stumps and conceded 18 runs without threatening the batsmen.

Given the vulnerability of their batting order and the need to build a heavy first innings lead, the pressure has been ramped up on Williamson to lay that platofmr and bat for much of the next six hours to ensure his side get into a position where they can win the match. Keshav Maharaj found the edge when he was on 10, and again on 40, but on both occasions the ball fell fractionally short of Hashim Amla at first slip.

Although the pitch offered little support for the bowlers, for the batsmen it was a constant struggle to score with 30 maidens among the 90 overs bowled.