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De Kock bats through pain to have Test even

By The Assam Tribune

HAMILTON, March 26: Quinton de Kock batted through the pain of a damaged finger to bolster South Africa with a defiant 90 as the deciding Test against New Zealand was evenly poised at the end of day three in Hamilton on Sunday.

In the rain disrupted Test, New Zealand were 67 without loss at stumps, with a rejuvenated Tom Latham on 42, in reply to South Africa�s 314.

The injured De Kock and previously out-of-form Latham were the individual stars in the deciding Test with South Africa 1-0 up and New Zealand needing a win to draw the series.

De Kock, playing with damaged ligaments in his right index finger, went to the middle with South Africa 148 for five and he held the innings together while the bottom half of the batting order added a further 166.

South African batting coach Neil McKenzie described de Kock as �a unique player� who needed painkillers to get through the day.

�We�re threatening to get bowled out for around 200 and he comes and gets a really quality 90,� McKenzie said.

�There�s a few tablets, anti-antiinflammatories and that sort of stuff but Quinton doesn�t mind he just gets on with it.

�But I definitely see he was very uncomfortable.�

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.

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.

�I think the game�s evenly poised. The two openers have set us up with a good start,� Jurgensen said.

Latham �got a lot of confidence from his fielding. He took that into his batting today. He�s got some confidence�.

Just as de Kock�s 91 in the first innings in Wellington set South Africa up for an eight-wicket victory, he again tormented New Zealand with his trouble-free approach.

His 90 came off only 118 balls, highlighting why captain Faf du Plessis was determined to have him play despite the wicketkeeper-batsman�s injury.


South Africa first innings (overnight 123-4): T De Bruyn c Latham b Henry 0, D Elgar b de Grandhomme 5, H Amla b de Grandhomme 50, J Duminy c Patel b Henry 20, F Du Plessis c Latham b Santner 53, T Bavuma c Raval b Henry 29, Q De Kock lbw Wagner 90, V Philander c Latham b Henry 11, K Maharaj c Watling b Wagner 9, K Rabada c Watling b Wagner 34, M Morkel not out 9. Extras: (lb1, w3) 4. Total: (all out, 89.2 overs) 314. Fall of wickets: 1-5, 2-5, 3-64, 4-97, 5-148, 6-190, 7-219, 8-249, 9-295, 10-314. Bowling: Henry 24-2-93-4, de Grandhomme 24-4-62-2, Wagner 25.2-2-104-3, Patel 7-0-30-0, Santner 9-3-24-1.

New Zealand 1st innings: T Latham not out 42, J Raval not out 25. Extras: 0. Total: (no wickets, 25.3 overs) 67. Bowling: Philander 8-2-15-0, Morkel 7-2-13-0, Rabada 5-1-25-0, Maharaj 5.3-0-14-0. � AFP

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