Dean Elgar once again led South Africa's batting effort on a sluggish fourth-day wicket in Dunedin with a fighting 89. He was well aided by skipper, Faf du Plessis, who made a half-century himself. He remained unbeaten on 56 as South Africa ended the day on 224/6 at stumps on Day 4.
The Black Caps had Hashim Amla early in the day and Elgar was helped by New Zealand's poor DRS calls plus their fielders, who dropped him thrice. Duminy, who walked in after Amla's wicket, resisted Jeetan Patel for a long time before Neil Wagner returned to pin him in front for 39.
Du Plessis and Elgar proceeded to extend the visitor's lead but the latter fell trying to up the ante. The opening brought two more wickets as Bavuma and de Kock fell quickly.
However, with a lead of 191 on board, with du Plessis still at the crease, and a windy, slow pitch on offer, the game is still in the balance. Trent Boult found movement and swing while Patel and Santner found encouraging turn which will keep South Africa happy knowing that they get to bowl last on this wicket.
Brief Scores: South Africa 308/10; New Zealand 341/10; South Africa 224/6 (Elgar 89, du Plessis 56*, Wagner 2/57)
Take a look through the talking points from day 4 of the first Test.
#5 Amla's woes continue
There is no doubting Hashim Amla's credentials as a cricketer. The South African no.3 has done enough to warrant a place among the greats the country has produced in cricket. But his current form is starting to worry the management.
In spite of a hundred against Lanka in his last Test, Amla has been woeful for the past six months and the worrying trend is the manner of his dismissals. In the first innings, he was cleaned up by an inswinging delivery from Wagner and here in the second innings, Amla chipped the same bowler to mid-wicket.
The slowness in the pitch contributed to his dismissal this time around but with South Africa leading by a mere six runs, Amla ought to have been more watchful, especially against Wagner, who has been the best bowler from either side.
#4 New Zealand's pathetic DRS calls and non-calls
Just when the DRS controversy is at its peak in another continent where India and Australia are battling out a fierce series, New Zealand had a few 'brain fades' in Dunedin.
Trent Boult to Duminy: Caught behind appeal - given not out
Reviewed in a hurry by Boult when Neesham at slip knew that the ball had brushed the thigh pad. Neesham proved to be right.
Jeetan Patel to Duminy: Trapped in front - given not out
New Zealand make a loud appeal which the on-field umpire Dharmasena does not agree too. Black Caps decide not to review. The ball tracker later reveals three reds which means that had New Zealand reviewed Duminy would have gone.
Jeetan Patel to Duminy: Caught in front - given not out
Patel once again has Duminy fumbling and manages to hit his pads. Big appeal from the Kiwis but the umpire doesn't budge. They opt for the review only to see a huge inside edge.
#3 Boult bowls his heart out
Trent Boult has been on fire in this series against the Proteas. The left arm seamer returned with a terrific performance in the T20s and ODIs and bowled brilliant lines in the first innings to take four wickets.
In the second, possibly taking a cue from Wagner's 11-over spell in the first innings, Boult bowls eight overs on a stretch. He repeatedly beats the bat of Amla and Elgar but Wagner gets the rewards as Amla chips one to the fielder. Elgar, who looked a picture of perfection in the innings, is left all at sea by Boult's movement and swing.
The cloudy overhead conditions meant that Boult was getting the ball to move away from the left-hander. Duminy even edged one from Boult to Latham at first slip, who dropped a sitter to deny the bowler a deserved wicket.
#2 Elgar's luck has New Zealand frustrated
Dean Elgar is the sort of man who would give his life to stay at the crease. On a tough wicket, Elgar brought out all his stubbornness and forged a brilliant hundred in the first innings. In the second, his task was once again cut out as South Africa lost Cook and Amla cheaply.
They were effectively 6/2 at one stage given that New Zealand had a lead of 33 from the first innings. Elgar was excellent but suffered bouts of lapses in concentration but Kiwis failed to make it count. First, he edged Neesham behind but Watling failed to grab the chance behind the stumps and then Elgar sliced Patel to substitute fielder, de Grandhomme, who dropped the chance to allow Elgar a double and yet another half-century.
He gave another chance to Neesham at slips off Patel but that too went down as Kiwis had a miserable day in the field. Finally, on 89, Patel got rid off Elgar lofting to Williamson at long-off.
#1 Patel holds all aces against de Kock
Quinton de Kock has looked all at sea against Jeetan Patel right through this tour. One wonders if Patel was picked in this Test just to counter the de Kock threat that has strengthened the South African team to no end in recent times.
If the first innings dismissal was a brain fade from the wicket-keeper batsman, in the second innings, Patel produced an unplayable delivery to get rid of de Kock. A flighted delivery that drifted in and then turned away bamboozled de Kock and hit the off-stump.
South Africa had already lost Dean Elgar and Temba Bavuma in quick succession and the de Kock dismissal pegged them back and left Faf du Plessis stranded with the tail.