New Zealand took six South African wickets for 56 runs, including that of centurion, Dean Elgar, to bowl the visitors out for 308. Kane Williamson and Jeet Raval steadied the hosts with a 102-run stand on day 2 of the first Test at Dunedin.
The day see-sawed between the two sides as South Africa crumbled to a lower total than they would have expected to get yesterday but quickly made amends with the early wicket of Tom Latham. New Zealand stormed back into the game with a 102 run stand but Maharaj broke through with the wicket of Raval.
Ross Taylor retired hurt with a calf injury to further problems for the Black Caps. The late wicket of Henry Nicholls, caught brilliantly by Hashim Amla off Keshav Maharaj made it South Africa's day.
Brief Scores: South Africa 308/10 (Elgar 140, Bavuma 64, Boult 4/64, Wagner 3/88); New Zealand 177/3 (Williamson 78, Raval 52, Maharaj 2/57)
Have a glance at the talking points of the day.
#5 Dean Elgar vs Neil Wagner
The old time school foes once again locked horns but this time for different nations and the battle turned out to be a spectacle for the Dunedin crowd. On Day 1, Elgar had dominated all of the bowlers, including Wagner, in a disciplined performance.
Some crunching pull shots and cover drives were played off Wagner, who was pretty impressive himself. The tireless bowler was even better today as he bowled a marathon 11-over spell in which he removed Elgar with a well-directed short ball.
Boult may have got four wickets at the end of the innings, but Wagner's three was worth its weight in gold. The wicket of Elgar stemmed from a face tickling bouncer that he edged to Watling. The wicket also started a collapse that saw the Proteas lose five wickets for 56 runs.
#4 de Kock's woes against Patel continue
Quinton de Kock seemed an unstoppable force in 2016, scoring truckloads of runs across formats. But New Zealand seemed to have found a way through the pocket-sized wicket-keeper batsman.
In the final two ODIs, the Black Caps weathered him down with the off-spin of Jeetan Patel, who opened the attack. In the first Test here at Dunedin, with South Africa having just lost their set batsman, Dean Elgar, Williamson tossed the ball to Patel yet again.
de Kock was watchful but could not resist a tempter outside off, tried to drive it on the up and edged to gully for 10. The South African will have to work in the nets to overcome a worrying trend against off-spinners.
#3 Latham's misery has no end
Tom Latham has struggled ever since being handed the wicket-keeping gloves in ODIs or so it seemed. The recall of Luke Ronchi brought little difference to Latham's form as he struggled to middle the ball.
Today, he walked in more confidently and played some sound defensive shots before unleashing a superb square drive off Rabada to the fence. But on a seaming track against the best seam bowler in the world in Vernon Philander, he had his task cut out.
Philander outfoxed Latham by coming around the wicket and making him play a full ball that seamed away. The edge found its way to de Kock as Latham's wretched form continued.
#2 Williamson-Raval partnership puts Kiwis on top
Kane Williamson joined a set Jeet Raval and the duo had to negotiate some very tight bowling from the South African pace bowling trio and Keshav Maharaj. There was little room for error as the bowlers kept taunting the pair outside the off stump.
Raval was patient and displayed great character in negotiating the Proteas seamers. Williamson, meanwhile, was flowing and remained unperturbed against the disconcerting bounce of Morkel and Rabada and the movement from Philander.
Maharaj was the one to finally break the partnership as Raval flicked him straight to short mid-wicket. The wicket brought an end to the 102-run stand that tested the patience of the bowlers.
#1 Morne Morkel up and running
After a long hiatus, the tall South African fast bowler made a return to the Test side and from his first ten overs in the Test, he looks completely fit. The back trouble that had seen him miss a year of action seems to have gone as he was running in comfortably.
Morkel generated awkward bounce off the surface that had Williamson, Raval and Taylor ducking for cover. The Titans bowler was tight and barely gave away anything in his first 4 overs which went for just four runs.
Though wicketless, Morkel bowled the right lines and moved the ball around, hardly showing any rust of missing cricket for a year. Of all goes to plan, he may find himself on the flight to England for the Champions Trophy.