Published On: Mon, Aug 29th, 2016

South Africa's quicks make deep inroads

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Lunch New Zealand 118 for 6 (Williamson 40*, Bracewell 1*) trail South Africa 481 for 8 dec by 363 runs
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

BJ Watling was dismissed for 8 on the third morning in Centurion © Associated Press

After stumbling to 38 for 3 by stumps on the second day, New Zealand’s batsmen were forced to fight for the first time on their tour of Africa. Kane Williamson’s diligent work ethic helped weather a testing period on the third morning but two wickets just before the lunch break meant South Africa’s fast bowlers had an opening into New Zealand’s largely untested lower order.

New Zealand ended the first session at 118 for 6, still 164 behind their first target of avoiding the follow-on.

Williamson displayed exemplary technique – head over the ball, soft hands at point of contact and bat near the pad – to quell Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Vernon Philander, all of whom got the ball to move both ways and picked up a wicket each in the morning session. Williamson repeatedly left deliveries on a testing line outside off stump, forcing the quicks straighter and then picking them off through midwicket – his modus operandi for most of the morning session.

South Africa didn’t waver from their plan to Henry Nicholls, though. In the third over of the morning, Steyn dished up three wide bouncers outside off and Nicholls slashed at all of them. The first carried at head height to Faf du Plessis at second slip but the ball burst through his hands, which ensured a barrage of short balls.

Despite fending or avoiding most bouncers awkwardly, Nicholls seemed largely untroubled against the ensuing full deliveries until he missed a drive off Rabada. Umpire Paul Reiffel adjudged Nicholls to be not out but du Plessis asked for a review immediately. Hawkeye indicated that the ball had pitched in line and would have hit middle stump. South Africa had their first wicket of the morning and New Zealand were 86 for 4.

More to follow

Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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