After four wickets had fallen in an hour’s play before lunch at SuperSport on Tuesday, South Africa, through off-spinner Dane Piedt, managed only a single breakthrough in the session leading up to tea.
That was BJ Watling, who showed far better application than was the case in the first innings when he made just eight. Watling and Henry Nicholls shared a stand of 68 for the fifth wicket after resuming at lunch when New Zealand were 18/4.
South Africa should have had Watling out immediately after the interval when he edged Vernon Philander behind, but Stiaan van Zyl diving to his left from third slip missed the ball completely - it struck him on the wrists - and the chance was grassed.
Nicholls had already shown his fighting qualities in New Zealand’s first innings, making 36 in 107 minutes and sharing the highest partnership of that innings - 60 - with skipper Kane Williamson.
He put on another gritty display in combination with Watling as the sought to stretch out the game after that disastrous hour before lunch.
Piedt eventually made the breakthrough 20 minutes before tea when he spun one from well outside off-stump, trapping Watling lbw in front of legstump for 32 which came in over two hours off 87 balls and included six fours.
New Zealand remain 305 runs behind with Nicholls unbeaten 37 and Mitchell Santner on 8. South Africa had declared their second innings after an hour’s play on Tuesday morning on 132/7, a lead of 399.
Independent MediaFollowing a morning feast, came an afternoon of relative famine for the SA bowlers, who picked up just one wicket with New Zealand going to tea on 95/5.
Original source: New Zealand 95/5 at tea