CAPE TOWN - Brendon McCullum and Dean Brownlie hit half-centuries as New Zealand fought back on the second day of the first Test against South Africa at Newlands on Thursday.
New Zealand were four for 169 in their second innings at the close, still 133 short of avoiding an innings defeat.
McCullum made 51 and Brownlie was undefeated on 69.
They were still likely to lose the match but it was a much better showing by the tourists after a calamitous first day during which they were bowled out for 45 and then leaked runs at almost four an over.
New Zealand's bowlers and fielders gave an improved performance, restricting South Africa to 97 runs and claiming five wickets in 31.2 overs before the home side declared at eight for 347, a lead of 302.
"Compared to yesterday, it was immense," said Black Caps fast bowler Chris Martin.
"The way we turned up with the ball was much better. We were more consistent and we dried up the runs which brought the five wickets. That set the tone for the way our batters went out and put up a much sterner fight."