TELFORD VICE in Hamilton
A fulfilled forecast for rain was the dominant feature of the first day of the third test between New Zealand and South Africa at Seddon Park on Saturday.
Only 41 of the scheduled 90 overs were bowled because of the weather, which interrupted play twice and did not allow a ball to bowled after 3.30pm (New Zealand time).
South Africa, who won the toss, were 123/4. Faf du Plessis was 33 not out with Temba Bavuma on 13.
The visitors sprang a surprise by replacing out-of-form opener Stephen Cook with Theunis de Bruyn, who had opened the batting in 16 of his 63 first-class innings but not for the past two years.
De Bruyn’s innings lasted three balls – he edged Matt Henry, who came into New Zealand’s team for the injured Tim Southee, to second slip to become the 381st test player to record a duck in his debut innings.
South Africa shambled to 5/2 in the fourth over when Dean Elgar left an inswinger from Colin de Grandhomme, which hit the top of the left-hander’s off stump.
Hashim Amla and JP Duminy began the rebuilding process with a stand that reached 59 before Duminy hooked rashly at Henry and top-edged a catch to fine leg.
Team overs later Amla played all round a fullish, straight delivery from De Grandhomme and was bowled for 50 – his first half-century in four completed test innings.
New Zealand need to win the match to square a series in which South Africa took the advantage by winning by eight wickets at the Basin Reserve in Wellington last Saturday.
But rain has been predicted for all five days.