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Cricket: South Africa draft in extra spinner for New Zealand

South Africa on Tuesday called up off-spinner Dane Piedt to join their squad for the third and final Test against New Zealand in Hamilton, starting on March 25.

The South African selectors packed their original touring squad with seam bowlers and only selected one specialist spinner in left-armer Keshav Maharaj.

The drawn first Test in Dunedin was played on a slow, turning pitch and New Zealand picked two spinners, who bowled a combined 106 overs out of a total of 224.4 during South Africa’s two innings.

Maharaj bowled 28.3 overs in New Zealand’s only innings, which lasted 114.3 overs, and took five for 94.

Piedt will not arrive in New Zealand in time for the second Test, which starts in Wellington on Thursday, but could be drafted into the line-up for the third Test if the Hamilton pitch is similar to the spin-friendly surface that was used for two one-day internationals.

Piedt, 27, took 24 wickets at an average of 36.04 in seven Tests before he was dropped from the squad that won a Test series in Australia in November when two previously uncapped left-armers, Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi were selected. DM

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