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PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Faf du Plessis was on the brink of his second test century as South Africa moved to 390 for five at lunch on the second day of the second test against New Zealand at St. George's Park on Saturday.
Du Plessis, who began the day on 69, reached the break unbeaten on 99 from 201 balls with 12 fours and a six, sharing an unbroken sixth wicket partnership of 54 with Dean Elgar.
The left-handed Elgar was on 31 not out at the interval.
Du Plessis, 28, has enjoyed a remarkable start to his test career with a century and three fifties in his four matches. He showed admirable patience during the session as he helped to blunt a New Zealand attack which had enjoyed early success in the day with the removal of Hashim Amla, a centurion on the opening day.
Amla, who completed his 19th test century on day one, added just four runs to his overnight total before he was caught down the leg-side by keeper BJ Watling off a delivery from left-arm seamer Trent Boult.
Amla was out for 110 off 235 balls including eight boundaries. He put on 113 with Du Plessis for the the fifth wicket off 36.5 overs.
New Zealand's new-ball pair of Doug Bracewell and Trent Boult bowled far more accurately during the morning session than they had on day one.
So effective were they in curbing South Africa's run-rate that the hosts managed just 27 runs during the first hour of play, after a 15-minute rain delay.
South Africa hold a 1-0 lead in the two-test series. (Writing by Jason Humphries in Durban; Editing by John Mehaffey)