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Black Caps in dominant position as Proteas wilt in opening Test

Mount Maunganui pales in comparison to the mountain the Proteas batters have to climb after being dominated on day two of the first Test against New Zealand.

The Black Caps would move past the 500 mark and then scoop four wickets before the close of play on day two at the Bay Oval in Tauranga on Monday.

Resuming play on 258/2 with a well-set Kane Williamson and Rachin Ravindra at the crease, the hosts were eager to push home their advantage. Their 232-run vigil finally came to an end when Williamson looked to take on Ruan de Swart, but only managed to balloon the ball to mid-on, departing for 118. 

Daryl Mitchell joined Ravindra and patience resumed, with the pair putting on a century stand before Proteas captain Neil Brand got the first of his six wickets with a neat caught and bowled, sending Mitchell back to the pavilion. Tom Blundell would then chip one to mid-wicket, leaving the Black Caps 391/5.

Glenn Phillips looked to move things along and with resolute Ravindra seemingly immovable at the other end, move they did. The pair put on 82 off 71 balls before Brand picked up Phillips. Ravindra, who had accumulated just 73 runs in his fledgling Test career before this innings, would finally fall for 240 while trying to pull Brand, only to hear the death rattle instead.  

Eager to keep piling on the misery, Matt Henry blasted 27 off nine balls to take New Zealand past the 500 mark. Brand continued to toil and would pick up 6/119 to finally bring the Black Caps' innings to an end.

The South African openers survived well for about 30 minutes before Brand got a feather of an edge off Kyle Jamieson's bowling through to wicketkeeper Blundell. Jamieson struck just two balls later, trapping Raynard van Tonder in front, leaving the visitors 26/2.

The organised Edward Moore then fell to a nasty bouncer from Henry, edging the ball onto his helmet in evasive action and Devon Conway launched himself forward from cover for a fine catch. 

Zubayr Hamza and David Bedingham then combined for a brisk 44 runs off 54 balls until the aggressive approach backfired. Looking to sweep, Hamza played all around it and ended up castled by birthday boy Mitchell Santer, leaving South Africa 431 runs behind with just six wickets in hand. 

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