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NZ assume early ascendancy in second Proteas Test

AP PHOTO

Fast bowler Will O'Rourke has dismissed Proteas captain Neil Brand for his first Test wicket and New Zealand sent South Africa to lunch at 3-64 after the opening session of the second cricket Test in Hamilton.

At the interval, Zubayr Hamza had faced 48 balls for five runs and David Bedingham had yet to score.

Brand won the toss on Tuesday and made the surprising decision to bat first at Seddon Park, where the team winning the toss had bowled in nine of the last 10 Tests.

Brand opened the batting with wicketkeeper Clyde Fortuin, who batted at No.8 in both innings of the first Test which the Black Caps won by 281 runs.

South Africa dropped opener Edward Moore in one of two changes to its line-up and, in his absence, Fortuin was elevated to opener though he had done so only twice before in his first-class career.

He was out to the first ball he faced in the second over, bowled by Matt Henry. Fortuin stretched well forward to a ball outside off stump and drove hard, edging to Glenn Phillips who took a spectacular catch in his left hand at third slip.

Brand made scores of four and three in the first Test at Mount Maunganui last week, when he also took eight of the 14 wickets the Proteas secured. He battled bravely through the first hour on a greenish pitch which assisted the hosts' fast bowlers and was 25 when he was adjudged lbw, both by the umpire and on review, to O'Rourke just before the drinks break.

Hamza had more success with the review system. He was hit on the back pad and given out after not offering a shot to a ball from Neil Wagner, who replaced Mitchell Santner in the New Zealand side. This time the replay showed the ball, while on line, was passing just over the stumps.

Wagner had success just before lunch, though, dismissing Raynard van Tonder who batted through all but 10 minutes of the first session for 32.

Van Tonder received a series of shorter deliveries from Wagner, went back to the third and, standing tall, ran the ball off the face of the bat to Tom Latham in the gully.

The Black Caps need only to draw this match to win a Test series against South Africa for the first time, a rivalry which began in 1931.