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SA bat; Cook out, de Bruyn to debut

play
Faf is nearly run out! Full ball outside off, pushes at it in front of his body, gets a thick outside edge that goes straight to Williamson at gully. They have no business running for that, Williamson picks up, has a shy and misses. Faf was at least four (0:48)

de Grandhomme to Amla, 1 run (0:48)

Toss South Africa have won the toss and elect to bat v New Zealand
Live scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The coin went up - eventually - in Hamilton and when it came down one of the captains was buckled over. It was the man who had won the toss, funnily enough. Faf du Plessis rose up with a smile on his face, unable to believe his luck. He called tails, it was a tail, and South Africa were able to choose what to do at the start of a match for the eighth straight time on this tour.

"It was 50-50," du Plessis admitted but keeping in mind Hamilton's notoriety for assisting spin on days four and five, he preferred to bat first, and therefore avoid batting last. That thrust the 24-year old Theunis de Bruyn front and centre. Although he had played a majority of his 36 first-class matches as a middle-order player, he was listed as South Africa's opener at Seddon Park, having replaced Stephen Cook, who has only once gotten to double-digits in four innings. Quinton de Kock, who had been the visitors' only injury worry, had pulled up well enough at a fitness test to both play and retain the wicketkeeping gloves.

A strange pitch greeted both teams on match day - although it was rushed under the covers as a small spell of rain lashed around the ground. There were several patches of grass - Simon Doull during the pitch report suggested it might have been 11-12 mm long. But adjoining them were an equally large number of bare patches. A high rate of humidity - 100% - suggested swing would be very much available. The greenery should help the new ball move off the seam too. But there was no Tim Southee or Trent Boult to throw it to. New Zealand - for only the fourth time in five years - were without both their spearheads, which meant Matt Henry was selected to play his first international match since December 2016.

Mitchell Santner came in for James Neesham, who appeared to have contracted an injury as well, judging from Kane Williamson's pre-match interview. New Zealand have gone in with a two-man spin attack in a match they have to win to level the series.

New Zealand 1 Tom Latham, 2 Jeet Raval, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Neil Broom, 5 Henry Nicholls, 6 BJ Watling (wk), 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Jeetan Patel, 10 Matt Henry 11 Neil Wagner

South Africa 1 Theunis de Bruyn, 2 Dean Elgar, 3 Hashim Amla, 4 Faf du Plessis (capt), 5 JP Duminy, 6 Temba Bavuma, 7 Quinton de Kock (wk), 8 Vernon Philander, 9 Keshav Maharaj, 10 Morne Morkel, 11 Kagiso Rabada