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South Africa are motivated to finish a successful season with a win in the third Test match against New Zealand starting at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Saturday. The Proteas have been boosted by the fitness of wicket-keeper batsman, Quinton de Kock, who passed a late fitness test on Friday after sustaining an injury to his right index finger.

Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis, says victory will be another tick on a growing list of achievements this season, with series wins against New Zealand at home, Australia away and Sri Lanka at home in the bag. The Proteas have the T20 International and One-Day series trophies in the cabinet for this tour, and have set their aim on the treble against the hosts.

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New Zealand fast bowler Trent Boult has been ruled out of the third ANZ Test against South Africa in Hamilton after failing to recover fully from his groin injury.

Boult felt pain in the groin region during the first ANZ Test in Dunedin, forcing him to miss the following match in Wellington. New Zealand Selector Gavin Larsen said that while Boult has worked hard to make himself available, it was clear he needed further recovery  time before getting back on the park.

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South African seamer Vernon Philander returns to a happy hunting ground for the third Test match against New Zealand at Seddon Park in Hamilton. Philander claimed a career-best return of 6/44 and match figures of 10/114 in the nine-wicket win in 2012 – and was also supported by Dale Steyn who took 5/80 - a clinical performance which reinforced his arrival on the international stage on his first away tour with the Proteas.

This was only his sixth match for South Africa, but it set the platform which led to him becoming the second-fastest player to reach 50 Test wickets after only seven Test matches in that series.

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Proteas wicket-keeper batsman, Quinton de Kock, will undergo a late fitness test on Friday to determine his availability for the third Test match against New Zealand starting in Hamilton on Saturday. De Kock injured his right index finger during the second Test in Wellington, with subsequent scans revealing an injury to the tendon.

Proteas team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee commented on the injury: “Quinton sustained an injury to his right index finger during the last Test match in Wellington. At the time, we had an x-ray done to exclude a fracture, and thankfully that was clear. However, he still complained of pain and discomfort in the finger so we had a scan done in Hamilton on Wednesday which revealed tendon damage to the last digit of the index finger. 

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South African coach, Russell Domingo, believes his squad remains a ‘work in progress’ despite the success in the current Test match series against New Zealand.  The Proteas hold a crucial 1-0 lead going into the final match starting at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Saturday, and have identified key areas to tweak as they look to maintain their unbeaten series record in New Zealand.

The bowlers earned full marks following their performance in Wellington, and will take the confidence of performing on any surface into the unknown conditions expected for the final match. An area of concern for the coach has been some of the batting form, which has been inconsistent throughout the series.

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Itumeleng Khune will captain Bafana Bafana in the upcoming international friendly matches against Guinea-Bissau and Angola. The announcement was made on Tuesday, 21 March 2017 at the squad’s base camp in Durban.

Thulani Hlatshwayo, Dean Furman and Hlompho Kekana have been appointed as vice captains.

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South African off-spinner Dane Piedt, who was included in the squad for their final cricket Test against New Zealand here, on Monday said the home side should have backed their pace bowlers rather than spinners.

Left-arm orthodox spinner Keshav Maharaj's career-best 6-40 guided South Africa to a comfortable victory in the second Test in Wellington to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. 

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