Dale Steyn, the South African fast bowler, said he has grown in confidence through the first Test against New Zealand at Centurion. Playing his fourth Test, Steyn took 3 for 35 as New Zealand were reduced to 98 for 7 in their pursuit of 249.
"I went for five an over in the first innings, but I had opportunities," Steyn told News24.com. "This time the opportunities that came my way were taken. The more I bowl, the more confident I become, and my rhythm also improves."
Steyn played support act to Makhaya Ntini who took 4 for 41 during a searing spell. He was confident that South Africa would wrap up the victory but acknowledged New Zealand's batting depth.
"Makhaya makes it look so easy," said Steyn. "I really enjoyed bowling with him. We were able to work in tandem. We knew that the new ball was going to play a role, and it worked for us today.
"We only need three more wickets and it only takes three balls, and the way the deck is playing it could be the first three balls tomorrow morning," said Steyn. "[However] it could go to tomorrow afternoon, they showed in the first innings that they can bat all the way to No.10."
New Zealand promoted Kyle Mills to No 3 to see off the new ball. "We looked up at the dressing room stairs and there was Kyle Mills," said Steyn. "He was coming in to be a new-ball watchman, or something like that. We knew the new ball does a bit even to the best of batsmen so we thought if we put it in the right place he's bound to make a mistake." Mills lasted all of two balls as New Zealand lost their first six wickets for 28 runs.
Daniel Vettori, on 18, and Hamish Marshall, on 24, were unbeaten when bad light and rain interrupted play on the fourth day. Vettori explained the reasoning behind promoting Mills. "We thought it would be toughest against the new ball and if someone could use up a few overs it would be easier for the guys following," Vettori told Stuff.co.nz. "Kyle's a pretty good batsman, he bats high in the order [for Auckland]. He's done well for us in the past and we had a lot of faith in him but unfortunately it didn't come off.
"We were confident this morning, we thought we could chase down anything under 250. I'm not saying we're completely out of the game, but being 28 for 6 doesn't help our cause."