New Zealand make solid start after South Africa dismissed for 308

The hosts had taken four wickets in the first session with Dean Elgar falling for 140, while Temba Bavuma was dimissed for 64 after the pair had combined for a 104-run partnership.

Despite losing an early wicket, the Black Caps are chipping away at South Africa's total on day two of the first Test in Dunedin.

Boult was the sharpest of the New Zealand bowlers with four for 64, while Wagner took three for 88 and Patel finished with 2-85.

"It was one of the tougher days of Test cricket so far in my career", said the 29-year-old left-hander who was dropped by wicketkeeper BJ Watling on 36 before going on to complete his seventh Test century.

Du Plessis finally opted against bowling first when he noticed that New Zealand had dropped pace spearhead Tim Southee to play two spinners in Jeetan Patel and Mitchell Santner.

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But South Africa will wonder how they left so many runs out there in the insipid sunshine.

Morkel's experience from 71 Tests, which includes New Zealand conditions, meant he got the nod ahead of Duanne Olivier, who has one Test under his belt.

He has the chance now to shape a Test match against a side New Zealand have only beaten once at home - in Auckland in 2004.

New Zealand had nine overs with the new ball before stumps and conceded 18 runs without threatening the batsmen.

Until that point things could barely have gone better for New Zealand after they removed the last six South Africa wickets for 56 before a stand of 102 between Williamson and Jeet Raval set up the reply.

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Nicholls looked good before he was the victim of a sensational slip catch by Hashim Amla, also off Maharaj.

Quinton de Kock only made 10 runs before he was caught by Wagner off the bowling of Jeetan Patel.

Jimmy Neesham was New Zealand's other successful bowler taking the valuable wicket of du Plessis for 52 three overs before tea.

The pitch continued to play better and better and even though Tom Latham's torrid form continued at the top of the order (his global scores this year read 7, 0, 0, 2, 0, 10), New Zealand found the going good and scored quickly on a surface that played true and offered little or no lateral assistance for the bowlers after Willaimson ordered the heavy roller to smooth it out between innings'.

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