Dunedin: South Africa captain Graeme Smith battled to his 31st Test half century as his side went to tea at 86 for one on the rain delayed opening day of the first Test against New Zealand here on Wednesday.   

Smith was on 53, while Hashim Amla was on 22 at the break, after play had finally begun at 2:15 p.m. local time (0115 GMT) following a rain delay of nearly four hours at University Oval.   

New Zealand captain Ross Taylor had won the toss and chosen to field in an attempt to take advantage of overcast conditions and any residual moisture in the pitch.   

The wicket, however, did not appear to offer any assistance to New Zealand's four-pronged pace attack with little seam movement or swing and did not trouble the opening pair of Smith and Alviro Petersen.   

Smith was the more aggressive in the first hour but Petersen was given out leg before wicket to left-arm seamer Trent Boult for 11.   

Petersen had initially been given not out by umpire Aleem Dar, but Taylor used the decision review system to have it overturned and leave the visitors on 34 for one.   

The momentum shifted slightly back to New Zealand after the wicket with Doug Bracewell and Daniel Vettori building pressure, but Smith and Amla survived despite giving the hosts two run-out opportunities.