NZ bat­tle back with strong open­ing stand

New Straits Times - - Sport -

WELLING­TON: Tom Latham and Jeet Raval weath­ered an in­tense ex­am­i­na­tion for over 25 overs to guide New Zealand to 67 with­out loss at the close of the rain-af­fected sec­ond day of the Third Test against South Africa at Sed­don Park in Hamil­ton yes­ter­day.

Latham was 42 not out, while Raval was on 25 when bad light forced the play­ers off with 3.3 overs of play re­main­ing.

South Africa had been dis­missed for 314 about 30 min­utes after tea fol­low­ing an al­most twohour rain de­lay that washed out vir­tu­ally all of the mid­dle ses­sion.

Quin­ton de Kock had again proved his value to South Africa's lineup with his abil­ity to score quickly and mar­shall the lower or­der as they scored 124 runs for the fi­nal four wick­ets.

The wick­et­keeper top-scored with 90, fall­ing short of a cen­tury for his sec­ond suc­ces­sive in­nings after he made 91 in the Sec­ond Test in Welling­ton.

He had hit 11 fours and two sixes in his 118-ball stay be­fore lef­t­armer Neil Wag­ner got a ball to swing in and then straighten off the pitch and trap him in front. De Kock failed to over­turn the leg be­fore de­ci­sion on re­view.

Kag­iso Rabada was the last man out as he scored a ca­reerbest 34 with six bound­aries a six.

Prior to the rear­guard ac­tion, New Zealand had been wellplaced to dis­miss the vis­i­tors for not much more than 200 when they man­aged to re­move the overnight pair of Temba Bavuma for 29 and Faf du Plessis for 53 that left South Africa at 190 for six.

Bavuma had at­tempted to hook a slow, short Matt Henry de­liv­ery and only suc­ceeded in get­ting a nick to first slip Raval, while Du Plessis fell to a bril­liant catch by Latham just after reach­ing his 12th Test half cen­tury.

The skip­per set him­self for a lap sweep against left arm-spin­ner Mitchell Sant­ner but Latham, field­ing at for­ward short leg, moved swiftly to his right and plucked the ball out of the air.

Henry fin­ished with ca­reerbest fig­ures of 4-93.

South Africa hold a 1-0 lead in the three-match se­ries. Reuters

Quin­ton de Kock

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