The visitors reached 169-4 at stumps in Cape Town and trail by 133 runs. New Zealand collapsed to 45 all out in its first innings, with top-ranked South Africa declaring on 347-8 in reply.
Alviro Petersen scored 106 for the hosts, who resumed on 252-3 today. AB de Villiers got 67 runs, Hashim Amla 66 and Jacques Kallis 60.
New Zealand lost Martin Guptill in the first over before captain Brendon McCullum, with 51 runs, and Brownlie recovered some stability. The pair put on 89 for the third wicket.
Kane Williamson made 15 runs and Daniel Flynn 14, while BJ Watling is 10 not out.
Vernon Philander took 5-7 yesterday as New Zealand slumped to its third-lowest Test total.
The teams are playing a two-match series, New Zealand’s first under McCullum, who succeeded Ross Taylor as captain.
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