Pollock ended with a haul of five wickets in the innings, while his new- ball partner, Steve Elworthy, failed to add to the four he picked up on day one.
The New Zealand total would have been considerably lower had Gary Stead and Chris Harris not staged a rescue operation yesterday at the Basin Reserve.
The score was 58 for 4 when Harris joined Stead, who had played his first Test for New Zealand at the age of 27 last week at Lancaster Park. He tucked the ball away assiduously off his legs and forced the ball handsomely through the off-side. He played some lovely square cuts and produced the best stroke of the day in the over he reached fifty when he on-drove Hansie Cronje for four.
It took Harris longer to settle and in 20 overs before tea he made only 15. Afterwards, he was transformed and fours flowed off his bat as he forced Pollock through extra cover, pulled and square-drove Elworthy, forced Cronje to extra- cover and smashed Jacques Kallis past cover. It was stirring stuff and it will have done New Zealand's morale no end of good. The hundred stand came up in 138 minutes and then the third of three fours in an over off Cronje, a square-cut, took Stead to 50 in 107 balls with eight fours.
Harris's 50 came four overs later when he pulled a long-hop from Paul Adams to the boundary. Ten runs and six overs later, Pollock took the second new ball and New Zealand's recovery was scuppered in the closing overs when it removed first Stead and then the nightwatchman, Daniel Vettori.
New Zealand had been awful in the first part of the day even though Allan Donald's stomach muscle strain had prevented him from turning out for South Africa. In the ninth over, Matt Horne forgot his footwork when coming forward to Pollock and was caught at slip. At 32, Brian Young drove and at third slip Jonty Rhodes made an awkward catch look easy.
The score was 50 for 2 at lunch and afterwards Nathan Astle was yorked by Elworthy. One run later, at 58, Roger Twose caught behind off Elworthy.
First day; New Zealand won toss
NEW ZEALAND - First Innings
M J Horne c Cullinan b Pollock 2
B A Young c Rhodes b Kallis 18
R G Twose c Boucher b Elworthy 12
N J Astle b Elworthy 20
G R Stead c Pollock b Elworthy 68
C Z Harris c Rhodes b Pollock 68
D L Vettori c Kallis b Elworthy 4
A C Parore c Cullinan b Pollock 5
*D J Nash c Adams b Pollock 2
S B Doull c Boucher b Pollock 0
S B O'Connor not out 2
Extras (18lb, 3nb) 21
Total (all out, 102.3 overs) 222
Fall: 1-7, 2-32, 3-57, 4-58, 5-203, 6-207, 7-218, 8-219, 9-219.
Bowling: Pollock 28.3-14-33-5 (3nb); Elworthy 27-10-66-4; Kallis 20-5-44-1; Klusener 15-7-33-0; Adams 7-2- 12-0; Cronje 5-3-16-0.
SOUTH AFRICA: G Kirsten, H H Gibbs, J H Kallis, D J Cullinan, *W J Cronje, J N Rhodes, S M Pollock, M V Boucher, L Klusener, P R Adams, S Elworthy.
Umpires: D B Cowie (NZ) and S Venkataraghavan (Ind).