The unbeaten 69 runs from Dean Brownlie guide New Zealand reach 169 for 4 in their 2nd innings on day two of the first Test against South Africa on Thursday.
South Africa dismissed the visitors for just 45 runs on day one, declared their first innings on 347 for 8 soon after lunch with a lead of 302 runs and they were still 133 runs ahead at the close. But New Zealand, largely through Brownlie and captain Brendon McCullum who scored 51 runs, offered much stronger fighting second time round, reponding well to widespread censure of their woeful performance on Wednesday.
New Zealand also bowled improved in the morning session and made the ideal start when Trent Boult forced Alviro Petersen to play on after adding just three runs to his overnight score of 103.
The restricted bowling soon accounted for Du Plessis, whose test average of 146.50 after two matches took a hit when Chris Martin had him caught at gully for 15 runs with the score on 281. Dean Elgar received an ironical ovation from the home fans when he made his first run in Test cricket at the third time of asking and De Villiers finished up his 30th Test fifty with successive boundaries off Boult.