Blackcaps v South Africa: Proteas make early breakthrough on day two of Mt Maunganui test

Maiden centurion Rachin Ravindra has converted his first test ton into a double against South Africa, joining a list of select list of Blackcaps to achieve that milestone.

At the close of play on the second day at Mt Maunganui, New Zealand lead by 431 runs, after they were bowled out for 511 and captured four Proteas wickets in the last two hours.

After bringing up triple figures on the opening day, Ravindra batted through the second morning and into the afternoon, bringing up 200 just after drinks.

Rachin Ravindra acknowledges his 150 against South Africa.
Rachin Ravindra acknowledges his 150 against South Africa. Photo credit: Photosport

In his fourth test, he joined teammate Devon Conway three years ago, Martin Donnelly in 1949 - both against England at Lord's - and Mathew Sinclair against West Indies in 1999 to record a double maiden century.

As the home side lifted the run rate, Ravindra was finally dismissed in bizarre circumstances, bowled off his legs by South African captain Neil Brand, for 240 off 366 balls.

New Zealand were subsequently chipped out by Brand - a part-time spinner - who captured 6/119 on his test debut.

They lost centurion Kane Williamson in the morning, when his luck finally ran out, top-edging a delivery from debutant Ruan de Swardt and caught by Tshepo Moreki at cover, providing the bowler with his first test wicket. 

De Swardt had watched a couple of chances grassed by his teammates on the opening day, but was finally rewarded for his efforts.

Williamson departed for 118 - his 30th test century - which saw him pass Aussie legend Sir Donald Bradman and Indian icon Virat Kohli on alltime rankings.

He was lucky to survive the day's second over, when he edged a delivery to wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin, who could not take the catch cleanly, but scooped the ball to second slip, where the catch was taken. Replays showed the ball hit the ground just short of Fortuin's glove.

After lunch, South Africa captured the scalps of Daryl Mitchell, caught and bowled by captain Neil Brand, and wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, caught by Zubary Hamza off de Swardt, as New Zealand took drinks at 394/5.

Glen Phillip was next to depart, caught by de Swardt, off Brand's spin, for 39 off 42 balls, before Ravindra faltered. Mitchell Santner didn't last long after the break, bowled by Brand for two, but Matt Henry took New Zealand past 500, with a nine-ball 27-run cameo, before he was caught on the boundary by de Swardt, as Brand's fifth victim.

Kyle Jamieson celebrates a South African wicket.
Kyle Jamieson celebrates a South African wicket. Photo credit: Photosport

Captain Tim Southee - the first Blackcaps captain to bat at No.11 - was bowled by his counterpart for a two-ball duck, giving the NZ bowlers just over two hours to knock the top off the South African order.

The visitors were off to a rocky start, when Brand edged Jamieson behind to Blundell for four and, two balls later, fellow debutant Raynard van Tonder recorded a two-ball duck, caught leg before wicket by the same bowler.

Opener Edward Moore was all at sea against a short ball from Henry, lobbing a catch to a diving Conway for 23 on debut, while Zubayr Hamza played Santner onto his stumps, just as he and David Bedingham were rebuilding the innings.

The pair combined shared 44 runs for the fourth wicket, with Bedingham unbeaten on 29 and his team 80/4 at stumps.

South Africa celebrate the dismissal of Kane Williamson.
South Africa celebrate the dismissal of Kane Williamson. Photo credit: Photosport

New Zealand began the morning session at 258/2, with Williamson and Ravindra both in triple figures, after openers Conway and Tom Latham both fell early. The pair put on 132 runs for the third wicket, before Williamson's exit.

The Proteas named six debutants among their understrength line-up, with de Swardt, Moreki, Fortuin, Brand, Edward Moore and Raynard van Tonder all making their first appearances for their country.

The Blackcaps strayed from their traditional home selection, naming only three frontline seamers - Southee, Henry and Jamieson - but three spin options in Santner, Phillips and Ravindra.

With veteran batter Henry Nicholls dropped, Ravindra was promoted up the order to No.4, after his heroics at last year's World Cup one-day tournament. 

NZ 511 (Ravindra 240, Williamson 118, Phillips 39, Mitchell 34; Brand 6/119) South Africa 80/4 (Bedingham 29no, Moore 23, Hamza 22; Jamieson 2/21)

NZ lead by 431 runs