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Du Plessis gone, de Kock ploughs on for SA

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 26/03/2017 Angelo Risso
Matt Henry celebrates the wicket of Temba Bavuma on day two of the third horse. © Dave Rowland/Getty Images Matt Henry celebrates the wicket of Temba Bavuma on day two of the third horse.

The Black Caps have pinched the key Proteas wickets of Faf du Plessis and Temba Bavuma before lunch in the second day of their Test decider.

Heading out to play in an unexpectedly sunny Hamilton, the Kiwis held the South Africans to 243-7 by the break, with seamer Matt Henry again a stand-out.

Henry snared Bavuma for 29, continuing on from Saturday's two-wicket showing as the Black Caps spearhead, and later picked up the scalp of Vernon Philander.

The 25-year-old Cantabrian earned figures of 57-4 by lunch.

But it may be Mitch Santner's dismissal of skipper du Plessis that makes the largest impact heading into a rainy afternoon at Seddon Park, with the help of Tom Latham.

Handed a second life on Saturday by New Zealand's wasteful use of the DRS system, du Plessis passed his half-century off 94 balls on Sunday before falling for 53.

The 33-year-old talisman attempted to sweep a Santner spin delivery, only to be snared by a remarkable one-handed Latham catch at short leg.

Television replays showed the 24-year-old, an occasional Black Caps keeper, had barely three-tenths of a second to react and catch du Plessis' firmly struck shot.

Du Plessis had previously hit nine boundaries at cover, third man and fine leg, and was succeeded by Quinton de Kock, who racked up a speedy half-century.

He made his way to 49 off 65 deliveries and completed his half-ton moments after the loss of Philander, who edged Henry to Latham at second slip on 11.

The crocked wicketkeeper, nursing a right index finger injury, belted out 66 before the break, including 10 boundaries and a six.

Batting partner Keshav Maharaj is on five.

More rainfall is forecast for the Waikato from about 2pm on Sunday after persistent spitting rain had brought proceedings to a premature halt on Saturday.

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