WELLINGTON: Centuries from Alviro Petersen and JP Duminy gave South Africa an iron grip on the weather-affected third Test against New Zealand on Sunday in Wellington.
South Africa declared their first innings at 474 for nine in the final session at Basin Reserve and at stumps New Zealand were 65 without loss with Daniel Flynn on 35 and Martin Guptill on 28.
It was a sound start by New Zealand, who face an uphill battle to win the Test and level the three-match series, which South Africa lead 1-0. The first two days were both hit by rain delays.
South Africa resumed Sunday at 246-2 and moved to 362-3 at lunch but the dismissal of Petersen for a career-high 156 started a collapse that saw six wickets fall before skipper Graeme Smith declared.
But the tourists' hopes of claiming at least one wicket before stumps against an untried New Zealand opening pairing failed to materialise despite the hostile approach of the bowlers.
Middle-order batsman Flynn, recalled after two years in the wilderness and thrust in as a novice opener, took several hits to the body before deciding the best defence was attack.
His innings includes four fours, with one off Vernon Philander bringing up the New Zealand 50 and he followed that lusty blow with a six off the next delivery from the leading South African bowler in the series.
Guptill was more cautious at the other end yet still managed three boundaries as the pair put on the highest opening partnership by either side so far in the series.
South Africa had looked comfortable in the morning session as Petersen posted his third Test century in the second over when he cracked Chris Martin to the boundary off the fifth delivery with the new ball.
Duminy moved to 98 with three consecutive fours off Doug Bracewell and then patiently faced a further 18 deliveries before reaching his milestone by flicking Mark Gillespie through square leg.
However, his celebrations were short-lived. He was dismissed six balls later by Gillespie, ending a 200-run stand with Petersen for the third wicket.
Petersen and AB de Villiers took South Africa through to 362-3 at lunch before Petersen was trapped lbw by Martin for 156 with the fourth ball after the resumption.
AB de Villiers (38), Jacques Rudolph (11) and Dale Steyn (0) all found themselves back in the pavilion during the post-lunch session.
Martin had gone wicketless over the first two days but followed up the removal of Petersen by bowling AB de Villiers.
Gillespie, the most successful of the New Zealand bowlers with 6-113, claimed the wickets of Rudolph and Steyn before tea for New Zealand to finish the middle session with four wickets for 75 runs.
Mark Boucher (46) was caught by Kane Williamson in the gully off Gillespie and Flynn caught Philander (29) on the boundary, also off Gillespie's bowling, before Smith called the South African innings off. -- AGENCIES