AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
HAMILTON: South Africa made early inroads into New Zealand's batting line-up on the first day of the second Test on Thursday, dismissing openers Rob Nicol and Martin Guptill before lunch.
Proteas skipper Graeme Smith's decision to send New Zealand in to bat on a green-tinged wicket after winning the toss paid immediate dividends as the new ball moved from the outset in overcast conditions in Hamilton.
Paceman Vernon Philander made an early breakthrough, dismissing Nicol for two in the sixth over as the opener's woes against the Proteas continued.
Nicol, who posted disappointing figures of six and 19 on debut in the first Test, misjudged as he went after a wide delivery and edged straight through to Mark Boucher behind the stumps.
Guptill then grafted a 33-run partnership with Brendon McCullum before giving his wicket away cheaply on 22, dragging a Dale Steyn delivery onto his stumps just as he appeared to be settling in.
New Zealand went into the break at 62 for two, with McCullum unbeaten on 26 alongside Ross Taylor on 11 not out, neither batsman looking comfortable against an attack bowling with pace and accuracy.
South Africa, second in the world Test rankings, want to assert their dominance over eighth-ranked New Zealand after the first Test in Dunedin ended in a draw when the final day's play was washed out.
The Proteas are also seeking revenge after the draw cost them the chance of a 3-0 clean sweep in the series that would have seen them topple England from the number one Test ranking.
The tourists' starting side was unchanged from the first Test, while New Zealand's selectors revamped the Black Caps' attack in a bid to increase the chances of taking 20 wickets against the Proteas' formidable batting line-up.
Pacemen Tim Southee and Trent Boult were dropped in favour of Brent Arnel and Mark Gillespie, who is returning to the Test side for the first time in more than three years.