Although South Africa remain in total control, one could argue that the second day of the test match at Newlands in Cape Town belonged to New Zealand.
South Africa began the day at 252 for three. Century-maker Alviro Peterson was bowled by Trent Boult's first ball of Day Two, and wickets fell at fairly regular intervals. When Graeme Smith declared at 347 for eight, the New Zealanders had taken five wickets for just under 100 runs.
The second innings began as the first had ended for the Black Caps with Martin Guptill dismissed in the first over without a run on the board. Nightmares of a less-than-two-day test became vivid; even more so when Kane Williamson was dismissed with the score at just 29. But then skipper Brendon McCullum and Dean Brownlie combined for a third-wicket stand of 89; almost double the entire first innings stand. McCullum and Daniel Flynn fell in the last session, and New Zealand ended the day on 169 for four; still 133 runs short of making the Proteas bat again.
That 133 will be the immediate target when Dean Brownlie (69 not out) and BJ Watling resume later tonight. In the context of a match that was lost in the first session of the first day, taking the match into a fourth and final innings would be a minor triumph and would at least give New Zealand something out of the match. Graeme Smith obviously expected a second capitulation from the New Zealanders, so it has been pleasing to see them show a bit of fight.
We never expected the New Zealand side to match or better the #1 ranked South African outfit. The Proteas side is a class outfit. At least in the second innings they have shown a willingness to tough it out on a surface with variable bounce. We hope that Dean Brownlie can get himself set when play resumes tonight, and push on towards a maiden test century. It's just a shame that they are playing from so far behind.