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South Africa win toss, bat first in second New Zealand test

South Africa captain Dean Elgar won the toss and elected to bat first in the second and final test against New Zealand in Christchurch on Friday as the tourists shook up their starting 11 to try to save the series.

New Zealand lead 1-0 after beating South Africa by an innings and 276 runs in the first test in Christchurch.

South Africa made three changes, bringing in all-rounder Wiaan Mulder, spinner Keshav Maharaj and paceman Lutho Sipamla.

They replaced batsman Zubayr Hamza, who was ruled out with a fractured thumb, and pace bowlers Duanne Olivier and Glenton Stuurman.

Out-of-form number three Aiden Markram was spared the axe, though.

"It's important for us to front up," Elgar said at Hagley Oval.

"The wicket looks a lot better than the first test.

"It's maybe not a bad thing to front up as a batting unit and hopefully get a respectable target."

New Zealand, missing captain Kane Williamson and pace spearhead Trent Boult, stuck with the same 11 that were dominant in the series-opener as they look to complete their first ever series win over the Proteas.

"We would've bowled as well," said stand-in captain Tom Latham.

"The challenge is to try and back up that (first) performance, we know South Africa are going to be at their best."

While a draw will be enough for New Zealand to win the series, victory would see them dislodge Australia as the world's number one test side, while shoring up their World Test Championship defence with maximum points.


New Zealand - Tom Latham (captain), Tom Blundell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner, Will Young.

South Africa - Dean Elgar (captain), Temba Bavuma, Sarel Erwee, Marco Jansen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Wiaan Mulder, Kagiso Rabada, Lutho Sipamla, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne.

Source: Reuters


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