South Africa require 150 runs to win the fifth ODI as well as the series against New Zealand.
The Proteas are in a commanding position following an aggressive and disciplined bowling performance at Eden Park. After winning the toss and electing to bowl, AB de Villiers will be thrilled with the efforts of his charges on what is a decent batting track.
New Zealand came into this series decider on the back of a seven-wicket victory in Hamilton. Martin Guptill scored 180 at Seddon Park, and was identified as one of the potential game-changers in the final at Eden Park.
The dismissal of Guptill for 4 was thus a massive moment in the innings. Kagiso Rabada speared a 145km/h delivery at the stumps, and Guptill failed to get underneath it. As the dangerous New Zealand batsman departed, the Proteas celebrated accordingly.
Yet the visitors were anything but complacent in the wake of Guptill’s dismissal. They continued to bowl an excellent line and length, and De Villiers continued to make excellent tactical decisions.
The pressure began to build on Dean Brownlie and Kane Williamson. The pair attempted to take a run to De Villiers, and the New Zealand captain was made to regret the error when he was caught short of his ground.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts. Andile Phehlukwayo struck twice in quick succession to reduce New Zealand to 51-4.
Jimmy Neesham took the fight to the Proteas bowlers before succumbing to a well-directed Rabada bouncer. The left-handed batsmen attempted to pull Rabada but only succeeded in edging the ball onto his helmet. The ball ballooned to the offside and JP Duminy took the catch.
Neesham was given not out initially. De Villiers called for the review, and was vindicated when Hot Spot confirmed that the ball had brushed the edge of Neesham’s bat before striking him on the head.
At 87-6, New Zealand were battling for survival. They were helped somewhat when Rabada and then Imran Tahir put down sharp caught-and-bowled chances.
Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner put on 45 for the seventh wicket before the latter was run-out. Duminy hit the stumps to ensure that Santner paid for the miscommunication with his wicket.
Tahir and Rabada then ran through the tail, and New Zealand were bowled out inside 42 overs.
NZ 149 (41.1 Overs) – Colin de Grandhomme 32, Jimmy Neesham 24, Kagiso Rabada 3-25, Imran Tahir 2-14
South Africa need 150 runs to win
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