South Africa 243-7 at lunch on day 2, 3rd test vs

The next to go was Faf du Plessis in the 62nd over when Latham pulled off one of the most stunning catches seen in worldwide cricket.

Things finally went right for Tom Latham.

New Zealand openers Tom Latham and Jeet Raval then negotiated a hard period before stumps in an extended final session and the hosts closed on 67-0.

Rain is forecast for the Hamilton area throughout the test, which New Zealand must win to level the series after South Africa won the second game in Wellington by eight wickets.

Latham, who managed 24 in total in three previous innings in the series, put his string of low scores behind him to ensure a positive start to Zealand's reply with Jeetan Raval who was 25 not out at stumps.

However, fine fifties from Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock boosted the South African morale and took their side beyond the 200-run mark.

Soon Latham took the stunner, Twitter broke into frenzy and called it one of the best catches of all time.

Top-scoring for the Proteas was wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock with a quick-fire 90 off 118 balls at Seddon Park, thumping 11 boundaries and two sixes.

The trio bowled consistently well throughout a day limited by intermittent rain to only 41 overs, capturing regular wickets to prevent South Africa from establishing the substantial partnership it needed to fully capitalize on its decision to bat on winning the toss.

South Africa made 314, and the black caps were 67 of no loss at Day 2 Stumps.

New Zealand bowling coach Shane Jurgensen said Latham was buoyed by a standout performance in the field highlighted by an instinctive catch at short leg to remove Faf du Plessis.

But De Kock held firm, despite batting in constant pain after suffering ligament damage to his right index finger during the second Test.

For New Zealand, Matt Henry bagged four wickets while Neil Wagner and Colin de Grandhomme took three and two wickets respectively. However, his maiden appearance in the middle lasted just three deliveries, before he edged Matt Henry, the pick of the bowlers with 2/25, to Tom Latham at second slip without scoring. Latham was unbeaten on 42.

  • Julie Sanders