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South Africa vs New Zealand 2017: 2nd Test, Day 1, 5 talking points

New Zealand edged ahead on a splendid day of Test cricket at Wellington courtesy a maiden hundred from Henry Nicholls.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 16:  Henry Nicholls of New Zealand celebrates his maiden test century while Kagiso Rabada of South Africa looks on during day one of the Test match between New Zealand and South Africa at Basin Reserve on March 16, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand.  (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)
Nicholls slammed his maiden Test hundred to put New Zealand ahead

Henry Nicholls' ton culmination in a 116-run partnership with BJ Watling helped New Zealand to 268 after they were reduced to 21/3. The Kiwi seamers then found some rhythm of their own and reduced the Proteas to 24/2 at stumps on a riveting day of cricket at Wellington. 

Earlier, South Africa won the toss and chose to bowl on a green pitch with Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada spearheading their attack. Morkel sent Tom Latham in a superb opening spell but Rabada did even better and pciked up the wickets of Kane Williamson and debutant, Neil Broom, in consecutive overs. 

Henry Nicholls then did some repair job before Maharaj struck twice to bring Watling to the wicket. The wicket-keeper and Nicholls put on a crucial 116 run stand after which Duminy struck four times to cut short New Zealand's innings at 268. 

Tim Southee and Colin de Grandhomme swung the ball around to dismiss the openers and put South Africa in a precarious position at the close of play. 

Brief Scores: New Zealand 268/10 (Nicholls 117, Raval 36, Duminy 4/47); South Africa 24/2 (de Grandhomme 1/2)

Here are the talking points of the day from Wellington.

#5 Morne Morkel slammed after probing opening spell

Morne Morkel
A good start from the veteran

The tall South African fast bowler who had made a return to International Cricket in the last Test was given the new ball ahead of Kagiso Rabada on a green pitch. If anything, it seemed like a dose of confidence from Du Plessis to his senior fast bowler.

Morkel delivered immediately by producing a ripper to get rid of Latham. A back of the length delivery seamed away after pitching in line with the stumps and Latham edged it to the slips. Morkel continued to ask questions with his pace, bounce and seam movement in an excellent opening spell of fast bowling.

However, once he was brought back into the attack after Lunch, James Neesham and Henry Nicholls took him on and smashed 31 in his next three overs. A spell that read 7-3-21-1 went to 10-3-52-1 and he was taken out of the attack.

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