South Africa vs New Zealand 2017: 2nd Test- Day 2, 5 talking points
A splendid stand between Temba Bavuma and Quinton de Kock lifted South Africa from a shambolic 94/6 after their batsmen seemed keen to gift their wickets to the Kiwi bowlers. Morkel and Philander combined in a solid tenth wicket partnership to add 47 more as South Africa coasted to 349/9 at stumps.
Earlier, JP Duminy and Hashim Amla decided to give catching practice to the New Zealand fielders while Faf du Plessis went after a wide ball to plot South Africa's early downfall on a pretty flat wicket. If New Zealand thought they had the visitors on the mat, they did not account for two batsmen who have resurrected the team many times in the past year.
De Kock overcame his jitters against Jeetan Patel and cracked a brilliant half-century, eventually falling nine short of what would have been a magnificent hundred. Bavuma, on the other hand, was streaky but importantly survived for long before he was finally consumed at 89.
Philander and Morkel then played responsibly to take South Africa to a lead of 81 and a position of strength at the close of play on Day 2. The game see-sawed between the two teams right through the day with the De Kock-Bavuma stand of 160 the major highlight.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 268/10. South Africa 349/9 (de Kock 91, Bavuma 89, de Grandhomme 3/52)
Take a glance at the talking points of the day from Wellington.
#5 De Grandhomme takes out Amla and Faf du Plessis
There was harakiri when De Grandhomme was selected ahead of Matt Henry on a seaming wicket. The all-rounder is a fine swing bowler and has the ability to trouble batsmen even with his innocent pace.
He had picked up the big fish, Dean Elgar, yesterday when the opener went for a hard push outside off. On Day 2, in the morning session, he was benefitted by a loose flick from Amla that tested in the hands of a diving Henry Nicholls.
The well-built all-rounder then removed Faf du Plessis with a ball that moved away from off-stump. The South African skipper decided to go after it but only managed an edge to Watling, gifting another wicket to De Grandhomme.