The Proteas took three more wickets in the morning session on day three to leave New Zealand reeling on 118-6.
A couple of overturned DRS reviews handed Kagiso Rabada and Dale Steyn a wicket apiece, but there was no doubting the one just before lunch, as Vernon Philander castled Mitchell Santner to leave the Kiwis trailing by 363 with just four wickets in hand.
The hosts cemented their control on the match on day two, as a valiant century from stand-in skipper Faf du Plessis allowed them to declare on 481-8, before Philander and Steyn and an excellent Temba Bavuma run out saw the Black Caps go into day three on 38-3.
There’s only one batsman who’s looked in any sort of control or comfort from the tourists so far, and it is, of course, their skipper Kane Williamson. Henry Nicholls was the only other batsman to get double figures (36) but even he looked nervy at the crease, flaying at anything pitched short. He was lucky to still be there as Du Plessis put him down in the slips when he was on four. It was the second chance put down off Steyn’s bowling in the innings.
The umpires have had a tough time of it so far in this match, especially after the third umpire’s controversial decision to send Tom Latham packing late on on day two. Paul Reiffel had a moment to forget himself, as a successful DRS review from Du Plessis showed Kagiso Rabada had Nicholls plum lbw to bring an end to the 60-run stand.
Seven overs later it was Steyn’s turn to feel aggrieved at a not-out decision. Once again, though, the decision was overturned as replays showed BJ Watling gloved it to Quinton de Kock. Steyn was eventually able to celebrate his 50th Test wicket at Centurion.
On the stroke of lunch New Zealand’s woes were compounded with the dismissal of Mitchell Santner for a duck, as Philander picked up his second wicket.
The visitors will be pinning all their hopes on Williamson to get the 163 more runs required to avoid the follow on. The fired-up Proteas will be looking to wrap up the tail as quickly as possible in the second session.
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