Quinton de Kock made 91 and Temba Bavuma 89 in contrasting innings and a 160-run partnership which drove South Africa to an invaluable 81-run lead at the close of play on the second day of the second test against New Zealand on Friday.
Replying to New Zealand's first innings of 268, De Kock and Bavuma swung the balance of the match when they guided South Africa from 94-6 to 254-7 in a partnership which spanned the entire second session.
De Kock was dismissed for 91 when he chased a wide Jimmy Neesham delivery and was caught behind to end the 160-run partnership with Bavuma that had rescued the Proteas following a rocky opening session.
Neesham then snapped up Bavuma for 89 in the deep off Neil Wagner after he and Vernon Philander, who ended the day on 36 not out, had taken the visitors past New Zealand's 268.
The Proteas ended the day at 349-9 with Philander 36 not out and Morkel 31, approaching his highest test score of 40.
De Kock played the aggressive role, compiling his 91 runs from 118 balls with 10 fours and three sixes while Bavuma was more circumspect. His innings began before de Kock and ended after him, lasting amost four hours and including nine boundaries.
Together the pair was able to break the grip New Zealand's bowlers held on the match after taking four wickets in the first session, reducing South Africa from 24-2 at the resumption to 104-6 at lunch.
New Zealand claimed what seemed the critical wickets of the South African innings during that pre-lunch session, removing J.P.Duminy (16), Hashim Amla (23), Faf du Plessis (22) and nightwatchman Kagiso Rabada (9) before lunch.