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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

Solid top order gives South Africa control

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'South Africa could not have asked for a better start' - Moonda (1:17)

Firdose Moonda recaps the first day of the second Test between New Zealand and South Africa (1:17)

South Africa 283 for 3 (de Kock 82, Duminy 67*, Amla 58, Cook 56) v New Zealand
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A day of thorough domination, something South Africa's Test team hasn't enjoyed for a few months. Their top four batsmen - Quinton de Kock, Stephen Cook, Hashim Amla and JP Duminy - all struck fifties as the hosts finished at 283 for 3 after they had been put into bat by Kane Williamson at Supersport Park.

South Africa's newest opening combination, de Kock and Cook, laid the groundwork for the middle order to capitalise by adding 133, South Africa's best first-wicket partnership since 2014. Amla and Duminy were initially circumspect after the tea break, but runs flowed as the final session wore on. In between a number of delectable boundaries, which included an upper cut over third man for six, Amla brought up his fourth successive fifty-plus score in Centurion.

At a time when batting seemed easiest, however, left-arm seamer Neil Wagner brought one back in sharply from around the wicket and kissed Amla's outside edge. It required such a delivery to leave Amla in disbelief.

Duminy's place in South Africa's Test side was under scrutiny going into the Test, and he had an immediate stroke of luck when a first-ball edge of Doug Bracewell did not carry to second slip, because of the slowness of the surface. Duminy used his luck to compile a diligent and unbeaten 67, an innings laced with sweetly-timed drives and flicks, his confidence and footwork improving with every stroke.

The differences from Durban were stark when play had begun under a blue Centurion sky. The absence of cloud cover and the slower nature of the pitch meant South Africa's openers were comfortable off the back foot as long as they did not waft at inviting lengths.

In the first session, they thrived after weathering a testing spell from Southee and Boult, both of whom hit exemplary lengths. After being watchful during the first hour, de Kock - opening because Dean Elgar had sprained his ankle while training on the eve of the Test - and Cook capitalised in the second. As de Kock got bolder and Cook more resolute, regular offerings of width coupled with pick-off-the-pads deliveries helped them score boundaries on both sides of the wicket. South Africa were 100 for 0 at lunch.

New Zealand's bowlers were forced to use the most trusted plan of their African journey, a barrage of short balls, to stall the hosts during the middle session.

Both Southee and Wagner resorted to bouncers to de Kock with a leg gully and deep square leg in place. De Kock, though, did not shy away. Wagner, bowling from around the wicket, delivered three successive short balls, one of which de Kock backed away from and ramped over the slip cordon. Wagner was mature and experienced, de Kock was young and exuberant. It was a test, and Wagner's next well-directed bouncer accounted for de Kock, who pulled compulsively and was caught at fine leg.

After bringing up his half-century, Cook seemed to lose his discipline in leaving deliveries he did not need to play. A couple of loose drives, bat away from the body and feet rooted in the crease, whistled through cover but another such shot ended his innings. A thick skew off the outside half carried low to Kane Williamson at gully, and New Zealand had an opening. Until Amla closed it again.

About ten overs after Amla fell with the score on 246 for 3, New Zealand took the new ball as soon as it was available. Barring gentle swing, though, they found nothing to trouble Faf du Plessis and Duminy, both of whom were intent on keeping straight deliveries out and leaving whenever they could.

The Decision Review System did not aid New Zealand either, with two lbw decisions - Duminy on 44 and Amla on 17 - reversed. There were two more lbw appeals that replays indicated would have been overturned but Williamson chose not to review. As a result, New Zealand endured the worst day of their African sojourn and needed to make a strong comeback if they are to challenge for their first Test series win against South Africa.

Steyn passes Akram

6

Number of fast bowlers who have taken more wickets than Dale Steyn in Tests. Steyn passed Wasim Akram with the wicket of Santner.

breakthrough at last

26.3

Overs it took South Africa to take New Zealand's fifth wicket. The first four had come in just 3.1 overs.

4 down in a hurry

14

Lowest score before this innings when NZ have lost their first four wickets in a Test innings. They were 4 down for just 7 runs in this innings.

a rare double

1982

Last time a bowler dismissed both openers for a golden duck before this - Bob Willis dismissed Mudassar Nazar and Mohsin in Leeds

Tall order

336

The highest ever target successfully chased in Tests in SA, by Australia in Durban in 1950. The hosts have set a target of 400 for NZ to chase in this Test.

Declaration batting?

25

Runs scored by South Africa in the first ten overs of the day. They started the day with a lead of 371 runs in the second innings.

Enough on the board?

251

Highest total in the 4th inns in Centurion, by England in 1999-00. SA's lead has already gone over 350.

Contradictory innings

79.25

Average runs for the first 4 wickets for SA in the first inns of this Test, whereas in the second innings they have lost their first 4 wickets for just 47 runs.

Huge leads

293

Average 1st-inns lead gained by SA in their last 4 completed Tests vs NZ, including lead of 267 in this Test. They lead by 199, 302 and 404 in the last 3 completed Tests.

Kane's hot streak

5

No. of scores of 50 or more for Kane Williamson in his last 6 Test innings, including this fifty. His scores in last 5 inns - 97, 91, 113, 68*, 2*.

South Africa again

2013

Last time five of NZ's top-seven batsmen were out for single-digit scores in their first inns of a Test, before this - also vs SA in Cape Town in Jan 2013.

Williamson in SA

15

Previous highest score for Williamson in Tests in SA in 5 inns, before this match - scores of 13, 15, 4, 11, 2*. He has gone past 20 in this inns.

Guptill's struggles

10.83

Guptill's average in six Test innings in South Africa - his scores are 1, 0, 1, 48, 7, 8.

A long time coming

16

Innings between Test hundreds for Faf du Plessis; the last one came in December 2014. In these 16 innings he averaged 21.25