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Wagner double strike gives New Zealand advantage at lunch

Wagner double strike gives New Zealand advantage at lunch

Despite what the top order and new ball might have been telling us, Dean Elgar was the man to dig his heels in, batting all the way to stumps with Faf Du Plessis and Temba Bavuma, only dropping one more wicket for the rest of the day and finishing 4 for 229.

And do not for a moment think either side has the edge‚ not with New Zealand going to stumps on 177/3 in reply to South Africa's first innings of 308.

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.

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

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson believes his batsmen will need "real courage and skill" to handle Rabada, who bowls at speeds of more than 140km/h.

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

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.




It was the first time in seven years they had fielded two spinners on a home wicket.

Patel claimed him in each of the final two ODIs and added his name again here, luring de Kock into reaching for a drive and spooning a catch to backward point where Wagner still had the energy to dive forward.

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.

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

In the sixth over of the New Zealand innings, paceman Vernon Philander's his first ball from around the wicket to Tom Latham took the outside edge and the opener was gone for 10.

SA are backing their pace attack to snap New Zealand's unbeaten run at Dunedin's University Oval when the first Test starts on Wednesday.

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