Can Kane Williamson withstand South African bowlers pressure or will South African bowlers feel the frustration again?    Getty Images
Can Kane Williamson withstand South African bowlers pressure or will New Zealand batsmen continue to frustrate the opponents? Getty Images

Starting Day Three at 67 for no loss, New Zealand added 254 runs of which 148 came from Kane Williamson and 63 from Jeet Raval. The game was tilted towards New Zealand but South Africa decided to be the party spoilers and stole the last hour of the final session. However, New Zealand found their way back and took lead by 7 runs putting up 321 for 4 on the scoreboard with Williamson playing lone battle at 148 and new batsman Mitchell Santner picking up the pace on 13. The day saw frustration, aggressiveness, determination and all-round performance. With the game evenly poised, both teams will look to make the maximum out of Day Four in a rain-interrupted match. Full Cricket Scorecard: New Zealand vs South Africa, 3rd Test at Hamilton

New Zealand perspective: Although New Zealand have done the damage by taking the lead in just a day s time, there is lot of batting yet to be done. Williamson was the hero once again, breaking several records. He not just became the third and fastest to 5,000 Test runs but also smashed his 17th Test century, equalling the record of late Martin Crowe. Supporting him at the other end was determined Raval who went past his own highest Test score of 80 that he secured in the previous Test. This was the first time in the series that New Zealand s top three batsmen scored 50-plus.

However, this time the middle-order has put Williamson under fix. Losing Neil Broom, second Test s centurion Henry Nicholls and Raval might cost New Zealand on Day Four. Santner is an all-rounder as well. He scored his highest Test score against Bangladesh with his fifty at Wellington. With BJ Watling, Colin de Grandhomme yet to come, there could not be a better opportunity than this series-deciding match to bring their all-round skills forward.

A rather confident Raval in post-match conference said, We’d love to get 500. We’re in a good position and we’ve still got six wickets in the shed. If we can get a couple of hundred-run stands and then put South Africa under pressure with the new ball it puts us right in the game. It’s about putting us in a position where we can win this game and draw the series. NZ vs SA, 3rd Test, Day 3: Kane Williamson s records galore and other highlights

South Africa perspective: If Day Two belonged to South Africa, Day Three slipped out of their hands. South Africa bowled bouncers; reverse swung the ball and maintained the lengths, nothing that affected the settled pair of Williamson and Raval. However, Morne Morkel and Kagiso Rabada found some respite and handed South Africa much-needed breakthroughs. Morkel brought his experienced into the game and claimed his 250th Test wicket. He also became the sixth South African to claim 250-plus wickets.

On Day Four, the task will be to only claim the remaining 6 wickets and bundle out New Zealand cheaply keeping their frustrations aside. On Day Three, batting became considerably easy despite the rain delaying the start of play.

South Africa will have to try different variations like Day Three that included reverse swing, bouncers and tight lengths. However, du Plessis will have to avoid handing the ball to part-time bowlers and rely on his experienced unit.

If only the rains keep away from this intriguing match, a result is assured.

Brief scores:

South Africa 314 trail New Zealand 321 for 4 (Tom Latham 50, Jeet Raval 88, Kane Williamson 148*; Morne Morkel 1 for 74, Kagiso Rabada 2 for 83) by 7 runs.