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New Zealand ahead on points in finely balanced Dunedin Test

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Dean Elgar recorded his highest score for the Standard Bank Proteas, but they were left with a battle on their hands after New Zealand fought hard on day two of the first Test at the University Oval in Dunedin on Thursday.

The plucky left-hander made 140 (299 balls, 24 fours) to surpass his previous best of 129 against Sri Lanka earlier this season, before he was the first wicket of a collapse that saw South Africa lose their last six wickets for just 56 runs to be bowled out for 308.

 

Temba Bavuma also returned to form with his first half-century since facing Australia last year as he made 64 (164 balls, 10 fours) and shared in a 104-run, fifth-wicket partnership with Elgar.

However, the Black Caps were fighting hard through their captain Kane Williamson by the close, reaching stumps on 177/3 – still trailing by 131. The skipper was unbeaten on 78 (146 balls, 11 fours) having earlier received good support from Jeet Raval, who made 52 (102 balls, 6 fours).

The tourists had started the day well positioned on 229/4 as Elgar and Bavuma extended their partnership beyond 100 and the South Africans looking fairly comfortable on 252/4 despite the efforts of the home bowlers. Elgar was eventually undone by a sharp Neil Wagner delivery, sparking the start of the collapse, with Quinton de Kock (10) next to go followed by Bavuma.

Pick of the bowlers Trent Boult (4/64) then accounted for the tail – the Proteas were all out in 122.4 deliveries.

The outstanding Vernon Philander (1/37) claimed the wicket of Tom Latham (10) early, before Raval and Williamson added 102 for the second wicket.

Keshav Maharaj (2/57) then dismissed Raval, followed by Henry Nicholls (12) late in the day to an outstanding, one-handed Hashim Amla catch at slip, while Ross Taylor (8) had retired hurt in between due to a calf problem.

Day two also marked the return of Morne Morkel with the ball for the first time in a Test in over a year, and even though he went wicketless, he showed plenty of signs of his old self during 10 overs that cost 26.

Brief Scores:

South Africa: 1st innings 308 (Dean Elgar 140, Temba Bavuma 64, Faf du Plessis 52, Trent Boult 4/64, Neil Wagner 3/88) vs New Zealand: 1st innings 177/3 (Kane Williamson 78 not out, Jeet Raval 52, Keshav Maharaj 2/57)