New Zealand 73-4 at lunch on day 1, 2nd test vs South Africa

South Africa's Keshav Maharaj, left, celebrates with teammates after dismissing New Zealand's Jeet Raval during the second cricket test at the Basin Reserve, Wellington, New Zealand, Thursday, March 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Ross Setford, SNPA)

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) Opener Jeet Raval made 36 in a 52-run partnership with Henry Nicholls before falling to the ball before lunch as New Zealand struggled to break the South African bowling attack’ grip on the opening morning of the second cricket test.

Raval’s two-hour innings and Nicholls’ resolute 24 not out helped New Zealand recover from 21-3 in the 11th over to 73-3 as lunch approached. But their valiant partnership ended when Raval was caught at first slip by Hashim Amla in the first over bowled by spinner Keshav Maharaj and New Zealand went to lunch four wickets down.

Raval took 19 balls to get off the mark and wickets tumbled during the early part of the morning session. He looked set to guide New Zealand to lunch but struggled against the spin of Maharaj, edging one ball wide of Amla before picking out the fieldsman from the fourth ball of the over.

Paceman Morne Morkel earlier set the tone after the Proteas won the toss and bowled, finding a perfect length on a greenish pitch at the Basin Reserve.

He had an early lbw appeal against Tom Latham (8) turned down, was frustrated when South Africa chose not to review the decision and had a right to be when replays showed the ball hitting off stump. But broke through soon after when his perfectly-pitched delivery, moving across the left-hander, seamed and bounced, took the edge of Latham’s bat and flew to Dean Elgar at third slip.

Kagiso Rabada then came into the attack and produced an outstanding first spell to removed Kane Williamson (2) and Neil Broom.

Rabada brought a ball back sharply at Williamson which beat the inside edge of the New Zealand captain’s bat and struck him on the back pad in front of leg stump. Williamson, given out, reviewed the decision but with the ball-tracking technology temporarily unavailable the television umpire had no choice but to uphold the decision of the on-filed umpire.

His departure brought Broom to the crease for his test debut at the age of 35. Broom has played more first-class matches – 165 – than any other New Zealand batsman before making his test debut and it was a moment to relish.

Unfortunately, it was a short one and he was out without scoring. Broom had faced only four balls when he received a superb delivery from Rabada which left him late. The ball took the outside edge and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock claimed a brilliant one-handed, diving catch.