Rain cuts short first day in Hamilton


Rain saw only 41 overs bowled on an opening day of missed chances for New Zealand in the third Test against South Africa in Hamilton.

The weather and a wet outfield at Seddon Park meant the tourists finished Saturday at 123-4 after electing to bat.

Hashim Amla (50) rescued the tourists' innings after they slumped to 5-2, while Faf Du Plessis (33) and Temba Bavuma (13) were unbeaten at stumps.

Matt Henry (2-25) and Colin de Grandhomme (2-43) took the wickets for New Zealand, who are without injured trio Ross Taylor, Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

After an initial delay, the hosts made the perfect start by removing both openers inside the first four overs.

Theunis De Bruyn, in for the out-of-form Stephen Cook, went for a duck on debut, edging Henry to Tom Latham at second slip.

Dean Elgar (5) was the next to go, allowing a De Grandhomme delivery to crash into his stumps to leave South Africa languishing.

It would be a day of forgettable reviews for New Zealand, who could have had JP Duminy for seven.

Neil Wagner (0-44) appeared to trap him in front, but the Black Caps decided against reviewing when Duminy would have been out.

After Neil Broom dropped Amla on 22, New Zealand wasted an lbw review on Duminy for a Henry delivery pitching outside leg.

Amla and Duminy (20) led the recovery and seemed set to reach lunch until the latter attempted a hook and was caught by Jeetan Patel.

New Zealand's next review - against Du Plessis after lunch - was awful.

Given not out, the Black Caps reviewed for lbw, only for replays to show the ball hit the middle of Du Plessis' bat.

They would regret it, unable to challenge a not out decision after Du Plessis appeared to edge Wagner through to BJ Watling.

De Grandhomme bowled a settled Amla before the rain came, on a day which could have been much better for New Zealand.