Henry Nicholls struck his 5th Test half-century    Getty Images
Henry Nicholls struck his 5th Test half-century Getty Images

South Africa after a superb first session in the second Test against New Zealand continued to make clinical inroads in the post-lunch session. It was Henry Nicholls, who stood in path of Keshav Maharaj and co. blunting whatever threat the bowlers had. Maharaj was the surprise package of the day as it was not expected that a spinner would be turning the ball on Day One. With the first Test ending in a draw, the second Test at Basin Reserve in Wellington is most crucial for both sides. Nicholls along with Watling ensured New Zealand take a much relaxed tea after a horrid lunch, with their side well placed at 160 for 5 . LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD, New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

James Neesham and Henry Nicholls came out with a positive approach in the post-lunch session. Neesham in particular latched onto anything that was wide and short. Nicholls, on the other hand played second fiddle knocking over singles and doubles. Keshav Maharaj cut down Neesham s stay in middle. In an attempt to defend Neesham dragged his back leg out of the crease and got stumped by wicketkeeper for 15.

New Zealand s crisis man BJ Watling came out in the middle with only 101 runs on the board. Nicholls fought hard and achieved his fifth Test half-century in 66 balls. Watling was lucky to survive few close against Maharaj, who was ripping the ball square.

The pair of Nicholls (74) and Watling (19) had added 59 runs before tea for the sixth wicket, making a strong comeback for their side.

Earlier in the day, South Africa won the toss, and put New Zealand in. Kagiso Rabada and Morne Morkel shuttered down the hosts to 21 for 3 in 11 overs that saw Kane Williamson depart for 2. Both Rabada and Morkel used the conditions to their advantage.

The Proteas went with an unchanged side, while the Kiwis made as many as three changes to their XI.

Brief score:

New Zealand 160 for 5 ( Jeet Raval 36, Henry Nicholls 74* ; Kagiso Rabada 2 for 25 ) vs South Africa.

PHOTOS: New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd Test at Wellington