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We're not out of it: Southee

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/08/2016 Mark Gleeson

The New Zealand cricketers are under the pump but have no regrets about deciding to bowl first against South Africa at Centurion, says senior bowler Tim Southee.

Skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and chose to put the hosts in to bat on Saturday, but then had to watch their batsmen rattle up 481-8 declared and then their bowlers lop off the Kiwi top order at the end of day two.

New Zealand are 38-3, having lost both openers and the in-form Ross Taylor.

"Test cricket is never easy, and it was pretty tough for the bowlers," Southee told reporters at the end of the day's play.

"We are not in an ideal position but there's three tough days to go and we've been in similar positions before.

"I guess our focus is on partnerships, all the way down through the tail as well."

Southee didn't think the Kiwis had failed to take advantage of a green pitch on the first day.

"We passed the bat a fair bit. It was just one of those days - the ones that did a little bit almost did too much."

The South African batsmen, especially stand-in captain Faf du Plessis (112no), showed patience and put away the bad balls.

Southee didn't want to turn back time and revisit the toss.

"You can blame the toss and you can blame a lot of things but we committed to that decision and there are still three tough days to go."

Neil Wagner was the pick of the New Zealand bowlers with figures of 5-89 in 39 overs.

Skipper Kane Williamson is not out on 15 and will carry the hopes of the touring side into the third day, along with Henry Nicholls who is unbeaten on four.

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