The Proteas have bowled out New Zealand for 214 to boast a lead of 267 runs, but have declined to follow on.
Considering the Black Caps were on a desperate 118-6 going into lunch, they’ve actually done well to pass the 200-mark. But they still have a daunting task ahead of them, and the Proteas have predictably opted not to make their opponents bat again, assumedly to give the bowlers a bit of a rest.
The Kiwis can thank Kane Williamson and Neil Wagner for a mini flourish towards the end of the session with a 45-run stand, but it still leaves them a massive 267 runs behind, and the Proteas will now look to bat NZ completely out of the contest.
Doug Bracewell was the first wicket to go down in the session, falling lbw to Kagiso Rabada. It was a rare lbw decision that wasn’t contested one way or another. Tim Southee then strode to the crease and didn’t look comfortable at all. It was just a matter of time before he fell, and it would be Dane Piedt to get him for eight. Not before Williamson struck a well-played 22nd half-century.
Neil Wagner stated his case to come in ahead of Southee, as he endured a barrage of nasty short deliveries from Rabada, before unleashing some clean strikes. He went 4,6,4 off a visibly angered Dale Steyn as he helped his side over the 200-run barrier.
That spurred Williamson into action too, and it was an encouraging stand before Steyn finally had his man, seeing off Wagner for 31. Rabada, who continued to employ the short ball with Steyn, then got a faint nick off Williamson’s bat to see his brave innings come to an end on 77.
The likes of Quinton de Kock will now look to build on his encouraging first-innings knock as they look to take the match, and the series, out of NZ’s reach.
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/Backpage Pix