JP Duminy recorded his career best bowling figures of 4 for 47    Getty Images
JP Duminy recorded his career best bowling figures of 4 for 47 Getty Images

Day One of the second Test between New Zealand and South Africa produced some lip-smacking cricket with wickets, runs and emotions flowing all in a days’ time. The Basin Reserve at Wellington continued to be a favoured ground for the visitors, as they won the toss yet again and invited New Zealand to bat first. It was an all-around show by their bowlers that saw the home side crumble to 268. Despite Henry Nicholls striking his maiden Test ton, New Zealand as a unit could not put up enough runs. South Africa, in reply, were thinly placed at 24 for 2 with nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada (8) and Hashim Amla (0) in the middle at stumps, trailing New Zealand by 244 runs. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD, New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

South African openers, trying to play for time, ended up gifting their wickets. Stephen Cook perished for 3 off James Neesham, while Elgar chased a wide delivery and gave his wicket to Colin de Grandhomme for 9. However, Nicholls and Watling started off the third and final session of the day. The pair consistently fended off everything that the South African bowlers had dished out. As the day progressed, the pitch eased down and became helpful towards batsmen. Nicholls, after his fifty, looked more sorted and fluent in his gameplan. Watling, to his credit, was lucky not to edge the ball into the slip cordon couple of times. Most importantly, he kept the scoreboard ticking.

With fast bowlers going out of favour, skipper Faf du Plessis called JP Duminy to bowl his off-breaks. Nicholls rushed his way to his maiden Test hundred with a crackling boundary. He got to his hundred off 150 balls. His three boundaries in Radaba’s over also brought up the hundred stand between Watling and him.

The stand between Nicholls and Watling (116) is now the highest sixth-wicket stand for New Zealand against South Africa surpassing Giff Vivian and Ted Badcock s stand of 100 runs in the 1933 Test at Wellington.

Duminy s persistence finally gave in after Nicholls fell victim to his undoing. Nicholls came out of the crease to a fuller delivery to get bowled out for 118. Duminy struck again getting new batsman Colin de Grandhomme for 4, after the New Zealander gave a regulation catch to Hashim Amla in the slip cordon.

Tim Southee and Jeetan Patel did not show any nervous energy in the middle, tearing in to the South African attack. Southee, in particular, used his bat to good affect, scoring his consecutive sixes to take New Zealand past 250. Southee then tried to hit the ball out of the ground, handed a catch to Vernon Philander.

Duminy rounded off a potent show with the ball, getting the final New Zealand wicket and ending with his best figures of 4 for 47.

Earlier in the day, Rabada and Morkel shut down the hosts to 21 for 3 in 11 overs. Both Rabada and Morkel used the conditions to their advantage. Nicholls, along with Watling, snitched a valuable 59-run stand in the post-lunch session that enabled New Zealand make a comeback in the match.

Brief score:

New Zealand 268 all out ( Jeet Raval 36, Henry Nicholls 118 ; JP Duminy 4 for 47 ) lead South Africa 24 for 2 (Dean Elgar 9, Kagiso Rabada 8*; Colin de Grandhomme 1 for 2) by 244 runs.

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