Keshav Maharaj © Gallo Images
Kane Williamson produced a 16th test century to give New Zealand a slight edge despite a career-best 5-94 by the South African left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj, who restricted the hosts to 341 in the first innings of the first test at the University Oval in Dunedin on Friday.
Interactive coverage Day 3
An attacking Hashim Amla led a determined counter-offensive as he steered South Africa to 38 for one at the close, a first-innings lead of 5.
Amla struck five fours and dominated the two spinners, Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner. He left the scene on 23 at the close enforced due to bad light. Dean Elgar, on 12, will resume with Amla on Saturday.
Stephen Cook was caught behind for a duck in the first over despite missing the ball by at least two inches.
His bat did hit his pads and the right-handed batsman did not refer the marching orders issued by Bruce Oxenford to the TV-official.
A fire alarm enforced a temporary evacuation of the ground by the players, spectators and TV-crew.
The fire brigade investigated and it transpired that the alarm was accidentally activated.
HIGHLIGHTS DAY 3
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Earlier, Williamson ignited the University Oval with his 130 off 241 balls with 18 fours. His ton, and a half-century by BJ Watling, gave the Kiwi’s a 33-run first-innings cushion.
New Zealand resumed on 177 for three on Friday. The hosts lost their night watchman, Jeetan Patel, for 16 in the first half an hour. Faf du Plessis produced a masterful one-hand catch at second slip upon the second grab. Vernon Philander was the executioner.
Jimmy Neesham was trapped in front in controversial fashion by Morne Morkel for seven. He was caught behind, but many observers questioned the decision to legitimize what they termed a front-foot no-ball.
Williamson and Watling joined forces and powered the Black Caps to 277 before the captain fell to a delivery that swung, seamed and bounce from Kagiso Rabada. Williamson’s 130 contained many glorious strokes, especially through the off-side.
In the morning spell, South Africa’s fast bowlers used reverse swing to ask probing questions.
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But when they were relieved of their duties, Maharaj and JP Duminy bowled too straight and allowed Watling and Williamson to find the boundary ropes at mid-wicket with ease.
South Africa operated with more control after the lunch break and Kagiso Rabada swung the ball into the bat, and the bounce and seam forced Williamson into the error as he was caught behind.
Maharaj was in the action again at cover. He hung onto a low catch off a full-bloodied drive from Santner, who drove limply at a Morkel delivery.
Watling was still the senior batsmen. But Maharaj engineered his demise with a lower trajectory ‘missile’, much faster than his usual left-arm offerings. He was bowled for 50.
Neil Wagner played a determined enterprising innings, hammering 15 runs off one Philander-over.
He was the last man to be dismissed when he tried to clear cover and was caught by Duminy for 32. He struck five fours and two sixes.
Maharaj profited from changing his line after his morning spell to attack the proverbial fifth stump (outside off) and bowling a touch fuller. He was excellent in both post-lunch sessions.
Philander operated with his customary control and discipline apart from that one over and ended with 2-67 from 27 overs. Morkel captured 2-62 in 24 overs. Rabada’s 30 overs yielded 1-92.
Report Day 1
Report Day 2
NEW ZEALAND: TWM Latham, JA Raval, KS Williamson (capt), LRPL Taylor, HM Nicholls, JDS Neesham, BJ Watling (wk), MJ Santner, N Wagner, JS Patel, TA Boult
SOUTH AFRICA: SC Cook, D Elgar, HM Amla, F du Plessis (capt), JP Duminy, T Bavuma, Q de Kock (wk), VD Philander, KA Maharaj, M Morkel, K Rabada