Tom Latham and Jeet Raval weathered an intense examination for over 25 overs to guide New Zealand to 67 without loss at the close of the rain-affected second day of the third test against South Africa at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Sunday.
The highlight of the day, however, was Latham’s effort at short leg earlier in the day to get rid of South African captain Faf du Plessis.
The skipper set himself for a lap sweep against left arm-spinner Mitchell Santner but Latham, fielding at forward short leg, moved swiftly to his right and plucked the ball out of the air.
Watch and be amazed:
How good!?– Tom Latham’s in-close-running-one-hander to remove Faf du Plessis #NZvSA ^WN pic.twitter.com/8b2PtYvT6K— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) March 26, 2017
South Africa had been dismissed for 314 about 30 minutes after tea following an almost two-hour rain delay that washed out virtually all of the middle session.
Quinton de Kock had again proved his value to South Africa’s lineup with his ability to score quickly and marshall the lower order as they scored 124 runs for the final four wickets.
The wicketkeeper top-scored with 90, falling short of a century for his second successive innings after he made 91 in the second test in Wellington.
Prior to the rearguard action, New Zealand had been well-placed to dismiss the visitors for not much more than 200 when they managed to remove the overnight pair of Temba Bavuma for 29 and Faf du Plessis for 53 that left South Africa at 190 for six.
Bavuma had attempted to hook a slow, short Matt Henry delivery and only succeeded in getting a nick to first slip Raval, while Du Plessis fell to *that* catch by Latham just after reaching his 12th test half century.
Check out some of the reactions to the catch:
Tom Latham has just taken a match-changing RIDICUCATCH at short leg!Take a bow, son! pic.twitter.com/prCkDIoL38— Alt Cricket (@AltCricket) March 25, 2017
South Africa hold a 1-0 lead in the three-match series having won the second game in Wellington by eight wickets.
The first test in Dunedin ended in a draw with the entire final day washed out.