Wellington: Quinton de Kock and Temba Bavuma fell short of the centuries they probably deserved but drove South Africa to 349 for nine, a first innings lead of 81, at the close of play on the second day of the second test against New Zealand on Friday.
De Kock was dismissed for 91 when he chased a wide Jimmy Neesham delivery and was caught behind to end the 160-run partnership with Bavuma that had rescued the Proteas following a rocky opening session.
Neesham then snapped up Bavuma for 89 in the deep off Neil Wagner after he and Vernon Philander, who ended the day on 36 not out, had taken the visitors past New Zealand's 268.
The hosts were again frustrated when last man Morne Morkel (31) dominated an unbroken 47-run partnership with Philander, and received a barrage of short deliveries for his troubles with one from Tim Southee striking him in the helmet.
After taking four wickets in the first session and reducing the Proteas to 94 for six just before lunch, New Zealand had high hopes of taking a significant first innings lead.
The Proteas had resumed the day on 24 for two and were immediately under pressure with nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada bowled by Southee for nine in the second over of the day.
New Zealand - 268 (Nicholls 118, Duminy 4-47)
South Africa - 349 for 9 (De Kock 91, Bavuma 89, de Grandhomme 3-33)
Status - South Africa lead by 81 runs