New Zealand vs South Africa: Maharaj's fifer keeps Dunedin Test in balance

Dunedin [New Zealand], Mar. 10 (ANI): Kane Williamson's 16th Test century and BJ Watling's hard-working fifty were the major highlights, apart from the five-wicket haul from South African spinner Keshav Maharaj as the visitors took a five-run lead on Day Three of the opening Test against New Zealand at the University Oval here on Friday.

Williamson played a fighting knock of 130 after Maharaj bagged his maiden five-wicket haul to keep the Proteas in touch with New Zealand in the game.

The left-arm spinner bagged the last three wickets of the Black Caps' inning to finish with figures of 5 for 94 and bundle out the host for 341, thus taking a lead of 33 in reply to South Africa's 308.

In their second innings, Elgar and Amla overcame the early loss of Stephen Cook who was dismissed for 0 by Trent Boult, as well as the distraction of a 20-minute delay when the stands were evacuated for a fire alarm, to take South Africa to stumps on 38 for one.

The day ended with the match as finely balanced as it was when New Zealand resumed on 177 for three, with Williamson on 78.

Nightwatchman Jeetan Patel was dismissed at his individual score of 16 in the third over of the day, while James Neesham followed soon after when he became Morne Morkel's first Test wicket in almost 14 months.

However, Williamson and BJ Watling (50) added 84 for the sixth wicket and threatened to take the game away from South Africa, taking their side to 277-5 before Kagiso Rabada claimed the most important wicket of the day- the New Zealand skipper.

There was also a 20-minute delay when the stands were evacuated for a fire alarm. Midway through the seventh over of South Africa's second innings the alarm in the main stand at University Oval sounded. Play halted, teams and officials strode into the middle of the pitch, the fire crews arrived and supporters were asked to leave.

With the pitch misbehaving, Maharaj will for sure have another big role to play in the fourth innings - provided the weather holds out. (ANI)