Kane Williamson became the fastest New Zealand batsman to 5,000 runs while also notching his 17th Test century as New Zealand went on to post 321 for four at stumps on day three to take a slender lead of seven runs in the third game in Hamilton.
After a blistering 90 from Quinton de Kock propelled South Africa to 314, New Zealand openers, Jeet Raval and Tom Latham gave a solid start of 67 for naught at stumps on day two of the final Test in Hamilton.
Colin de Grandhomme and Matt Henry picked two wickets apiece as New Zealand restricted South Africa to 123 for four before rain played spoilsport allowing only 41 overs of play possible on day one of the third Test in Hamilton.
New Zealand's chances of levelling the ongoing Test series against South Africa have been dealt a major blow as fast bowler Tim Southee has been ruled out of the game in Hamilton following a hamstring injury.
A brilliant six-wicket haul from Keshav Maharaj dismissed New Zealand for 171 in their second innings following which South Africa chased down the target of 81 runs with eight wickets in hand to win the second Test in Wellington and claim an unassailable lead of 1-0 in the series.
Henry Nicholls registered his maiden Test century on conditions conducive for bowling as New Zealand were bowled for 268 runs in their first innings following which South Africa lost both their openers and were restricted to 24 for two at stumps on day one of the second Test in Wellington.
Late strikes from New Zealand restricted South Africa to 224 for six before bad light brought a premature end to the day as the Proteas stretched their lead 191 runs with four wickets in hand at stumps on day four.