South African attack bolstered ahead of NZ Tests

Heading into day two of the 5-day Test match against New Zealand at the University Oval in Dunedin, South Africa projected a hopeful 229/4 from the first day's spoils, but managed to only conjure up a further 79 runs with the loss of their final six wickets. If he bats for an extended period of time, going on with it and getting a century then the Kiwis should take a first innings lead.

Morkel's experience from 71 Tests, which includes New Zealand conditions, meant he got the nod ahead of Duanne Olivier, who has one Test under his belt.

The visitors had been under pressure when they resumed after lunch on 63-3 and New Zealand could have driven home their advantage had Watling held onto the ball when Elgar got a thick edge in the second over of the session.

Du Plessis only made his decision when he spotted that New Zealand had dropped pace spearhead Tim Southee to play two spinners in Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner.

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

When du Plessis won the toss he became the first captain in 23 Tests to bat first.

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

Quinton de Kock (10), undoubtedly the world's best number-seven batsman, was uncharacteristically cautious and once again the strategy failed as wickets fell without many runs being added.

South Africa picked up a late boost when Henry Nicholls was brilliantly caught by Hashim Amla at slip off the bowling of Maharaj but there is still work to do. There was an opening session of sustained accuracy by New Zealand which continued their efforts from the first day when even though wickets dried up the scoring did not run away.

South Africa removed Tom Latham early, caught behind off Vern Philander for 10, and New Zealand were 15 for one.

Earlier Williamson and Jeet Raval (52) set a New Zealand second-wicket partnership record of 102 against South Africa, beating the previous best of 90 by Matt Horne and Nathan Astle in February 1999 in Auckland.

Jimmy Neesham was New Zealand's other successful bowler taking the valuable wicket of du Plessis for 52 three overs before tea.

  • Tabitha Byrd