Morne Morkel remained not out on 31 batting at No.11    Getty Images
Morne Morkel remained not out on 31 batting at No.11 Getty Images

Day Two started off in favour of New Zealand, but luck favoured South Africa towards the end of it. The Basin Reserve at Wellington saw some starling cricket take place with both teams eyeing first blood in the series. Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma shone for the visitors in a head-over-heels battle, which saw runs and wickets tumble across the sessions. New Zealand’s bowling started well, but an eased-out pitch and tired bodies enabled South Africa take an 81- run lead. Credit should also be given to Vernon Philander (36) and Morne Morkel (31), who further annoyed the hosts in the final hour of play, adding 47 runs for the last wicket. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD, New Zealand vs South Africa, 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

However, de Kock and Bavuma continued their stellar show in final session. De Kock, after being set, started to open his arms against Jeetan Patel who had troubled him in the first Test. Bavuma, on the other hand, relied more on his technique than brute. De Kock, in a moment of laziness, gave away his wicket for 91. He edged the ball to BJ Watling off James Neesham. This brought an end to a mammoth 160-run stand. Philander then joined Bavuma in the middle.

Bavuma was lucky to survive on 89 after Jeet Raval misjudged a catch at first-slip. Nonetheless, his stay was short lived, courtesy a mistimed pull shot. Neil Wagner continued his short-ball approach that reaped rewards, getting the better of Bavuma. Philander then continued to attack the bowlers and in turn collected valuable runs for his side.

Keshav Maharaj, who was extremely effective with the ball, failed with the bat yet again. He went for the expensive drive and gave a simple catch to Kane Williamson for 1 off Wagner. Philander, along with Morkel, showed resistance and frustrated the hosts for a while. The pair did not take shield against the new ball, but rather used its pace to their benefit crashing boundaries at regular intervals.

Morkel was hit on the head a couple times in the dying moments of the day’s play. The pair, by stumps, added 47 runs to take South Africa on 349 for 9, leading New Zealand by 81 runs.

Earlier in the day, Colin de Grandhomme hit at regular interval to down South Africa s middle order. Lazy shot selection from the likes of Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy contributed to their slide to 104 for 6 before Bavuma and de Kock rose to the occasion. The pair played the entire session that saw New Zealand bowlers get hammered for runs across the park.

Brief score:

New Zealand 268 all out (Jeet Raval 36, Henry Nicholls 118 ; JP Duminy 4 for 47) trail South Africa 349 for 9 (Quinton de Kock 91, Temba Bavuma 89 ; Colin de Grandhomme 3 for 52) by 81 runs.

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