New Zealand resist Proteas onslaught
South Africa: 525/8 declared (Du Plessis 137, Amla 110, Elgar 103*, Bracewell 3/94, Munro 2/40)
New Zealand: 121 all out (Watling 63, Boult 17*, McCullum 13, Steyn 5/17, Robin Peterson 2/20 Kleinveldt 2/53) and 157/4 (Guptill 48, Brownlie 44*, Watling 41*, Robin Peterson 2/29, Kleinveldt 2/31)
New Zealand trail by 247 runs
Stout resistance was again the name of New Zealand’s game at the end of day three. In doing so, they will subject the Proteas to another day of fielding.
They had discipline and application and if they had batted in the same manner in the first innings, the match could have been very different.
It won’t be and fact is New Zealand will lose this and it will take only the loss of Dean Brownlie or BJ Watling to accelerate the defeat. The only question is whether it is by an innings, the likeliest at the moment, or whether South Africa will have to bat again.
It will be a tall order but two of New Zealand’s greenhorns in the middle order provided backbone where there was none in the first.
It was an innings of contrasts from the batsmen as they eschewed the kitchen sink approach for valuable crease occupation.
With the swing demons having almost died down, the threat they will face is from the second new ball, which is 13 overs away. The pitch also showed signs of irregular bounce.
It was from two unlikely sources in Robin Peterson and Rory Kleinveldt that South Africa got their breakthroughs. Spin was always going to make an impact and Peterson provided the key wickets in Brendon McCullum and Kane Williamson, both out for 11.
Unlike the first innings, there were no cowboy shots and backing away from the short ball.
Kleinveldt examined the pitch for its variable bounce and snared Martin Guptill and Daniel Flynn with two good balls. He was an unsung mainstay who will soldier on with the old ball until the new cherry is released.
New Zealand’s resolute defence was refreshing but they will need more than defence if they are to last day four, but they can be proud of their efforts against an attack that hustled them relentlessly.