The Black Caps ended day two on 169 for four, 133 runs behind South Africa, who followed up New Zealand's embarrassing opening effort of 45 all out - their third-lowest Test score - with 347 for eight declared.
Dean Brownlie's unbeaten 69 was a rare bright moment for the visitors as he put on 89 with skipper Brendon McCullum for the third wicket as New Zealand showed some resilience in Cape Town.
The tourists made the ideal start from the first ball of the second over as Trent Boult got one to nip back at Alviro Petersen (106), who could only get an inside edge on the delivery before the ball clattered into the stumps. Veteran seamer Chris Martin then found the outside edge of Faf du Plessis' bat, with Kane Williamson taking the catch in the slips.
At 280 for four, AB de Villiers and new batsman Dean Elgar, playing in just his second Test, built slowly until the latter edged a rising Boult delivery to wicketkeeper BJ Watling, who took a simple catch for 21.
De Villiers fell in just the second over after lunch for 67 when he was bowled by Martin attempting to create some room on the leg side. The 38-year-old struck again in his next over, with Robin Peterson the next South African to be bowled as his off stump was disturbed attempting to play a leg-side shot.
This led to home captain Graeme Smith declaring, leaving New Zealand to bat out the remaining 56 overs of the day 302 runs behind.
A tough task was made even harder when opener Martin Guptill was dismissed off the last ball of the first over, pushing a tame Dale Steyn leg-stump half-volley to Hashim Amla at mid-wicket, and Williamson became the second New Zealander to needlessly lose his wicket when he edged a wide Jacques Kallis delivery to Petersen at second slip.
Brownlie was the exception to the rule for the visitors as he raced on to 24 from just 19 balls with four boundaries, although he was dropped twice in consecutive overs, while at the other end the untroubled McCullum brought up his 25th Test fifty off 96 balls as the Kiwis moved to 117 for two.
However, his resilience was to last just one more over as he was trapped lbw by Peterson for 51. Brownlie went on to reach his fourth Test half-century off 44 balls and he put on 37 for the fourth wicket with Daniel Flynn before the latter became Kallis' second victim, edging to De Villiers.
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- Dean Brownlie
- New Zealand
- Chris Martin
- Trent Boult