Keshav Maharaj took his first five-for in Tests to help restrict New Zealand to a 33-run lead on Friday.
Maharaj’s maiden five-wicket haul (5-94) for the Proteas was a special moment and an important milestone for the 27-year-old.
After the scalp of Kane Williamson, the Proteas faced another challenge in the form of BJ Watling. The wicketkeeper-batsman pushed his side past the 300-mark and closer to SA’s first innings total by reaching his 13th half century.
Maharaj relieved the pressure from his side with a beauty of a delivery to beat Watling’s defence as the ball hit the stumps. The Kiwis were leading by four runs at this stage and struggled to get past SA’s 308, taking two overs to get there.
Once past the mark, Wagner turned up the heat. He hit Philander for two fours and a six in the 112th over and needed a worthy partner to support him at the other end. Maharaj took his second wicket, of Trent Boult, in the next over, but celebrations were short-lived when the dangerous Ross Taylor walked out after he retired injured on day two.
A six from Wagner and Taylor in the following two overs brought the jitters back. But after slogging the left-arm spinner for four, Wagner (32 off 32 balls) attempted to cut a tossed up delivery, but instead sliced it to JP Duminy at point, as the Black Caps were bowled out for 341.
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