Published: Mon, March 13, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Elgar and Du Plessis keep Proteas in control

"It was on a South Africa A tour to Australia previous year, we were sitting in the change room and the fire alarm went off".

Ross Taylor retired hurt on 8 after tweaking a calf muscle then Henry Nicholls departed for 12, brilliantly caught by Hashim Amla from the bowling of Maharaj, who ended the day with with 2-57 from 16 overs. That allowed New Zealand to maintain their momentum after the bowlers had taken the last six South African wickets for just 56 runs. For the majority of New Zealand innings, Williamson played a lone-wolf innings bringing up his 16th Test century and scoring nearly half of the runs for his side.

Boult suffered a sore upper left thigh on day four of the first test in Dunedin. While they got through plenty of overs in the first innings, no play on Sunday meant that Kagiso Rabada and Co had a much-welcomed extra day to put their feet up.

Left-armer Keshav Maharaj is the only specialist spinner in the current squad‚ and he showed his worth by taking 5/94 in New Zealand's first innings at University Oval.

At stumps on day three South Africa were 38 for the loss of one wicket leading by 5 runs.

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McKenzie noted that South Africa were "blessed with a few options".

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. But the Kiwi middle-order crumbled only to be supported by Williamson and wicketkeeper-batsman BJ Watling (50).

Stephen Cook was caught behind for a duck in the first over despite missing the ball by at least two inches. A light precedent had been set the day before and the umpires then told Kane Williamson that he could only bowl spin until it improved.

Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis, feels his team was in a favourable position to enforce a result, and says the opportunity for his players to shake off some pre-tour cobwebs will bode well for the second Test match starting at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on Thursday. The last time was in 2012, also at the University Oval, when New Zealand were ahead by 35 going into the second innings, with the Test drawn when the last day was washed out. Matters only got worse as the rain did not relent.

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