The Black Caps have suffered an early set-back in controversial circumstances on day three of the first test against South Africa.

James Neesham became the second New Zealand wicket of the morning after night watchman Jeetan Patel lasted until the third over of the day.

Neesham was judged to have been caught behind by Quinton de Kock off the bowling of Morne Morkel for seven, however replays showed that Morkel's front foot was over the line.

Despite several replays showing the fast bowler didn't have any part of his foot behind the bowling crease, third umpire Rod Tucker decided it was a legitimate delivery and Neesham had to walk.

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Live blog: Black Caps v South Africa, 1st test, day three