Steyn returns to take early wickets as rain halts NZ-SA test

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) " South Africa paceman Dale Steyn announced his return to the international game with two early wickets before rain wiped out the remainder of day two of the first test against New Zealand on Saturday.

Playing his first international match since being sidelined by a shoulder injury in December, Steyn claimed the wickets of both New Zealand openers to leave the tourists at 15-2 in reply to South Africa's first-innings of 263 all out at Kingsmead.

South Africa's attack was then halted for lunch by rain, with bad weather continuing through the afternoon until play was called off for the day.

Although Steyn's pace was down as he had predicted, the 33-year-old bowler offered a superb swing presentation to take 2-3 in a six-over spell.

He was well supported by Vernon Philander, who beat the bat on numerous occasions as he played his first test in almost a year.

"It's especially good having them back in international cricket, bowling in tandem," South Africa bowling coach Charl Langeveldt said. "We got the ball to do just enough."

It was just the start that South Africa needed with the ball after being bowled out for an underwhelming total.

The hosts resumed on 236-8 after light rain delayed the start of play by 50 minutes, and lasted just 10 overs before Tim Southee and Trent Boult wrapped up the tail for New Zealand.

Boult finished with figures of 3-52, while Kagiso Rabada was left unbeaten on a career-best 32.

South Africa's disappointment at its total was lifted slightly by the seam-friendly conditions, which Steyn and Philander used to put the pressure back onto New Zealand.

Although Tom Latham was dropped by Dean Elgar at second slip off the bowling of Philander early on, Steyn induced another edge from the left-hander soon after and this time it was held by Hashim Amla.

Steyn then trapped Martin Guptill lbw in his next over to cap a brilliant opening spell, before poor weather took hold for the rest of the day.

"It was pretty tough," New Zealand's Mitchell Santner said. "It was a good spell from Philander and Steyn.

"There's going to be a little bit there for them going forward so we just need to build partnerships. We can't get ahead of ourselves."

Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor were the not-out batsmen for New Zealand, which trails by 248 runs with eight wickets in hand.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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