Captain AB de Villiers cherished a rare leading role with the ball, after South Africa trumped New Zealand by 72 runs in Friday’s second ODI at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.
The result, largely achieved on the back of a fine century from opening batsman Hashim Amla, afforded the Proteas an unassailable two-nil lead in the three-match series, which will concluded at Seddon Park in Hamilton.
The composition of the XI, sans the services of all-rounder Ryan McLaren and completed by additional batsman David Miller, necessitated the introduction of de Villiers’ part-time seam.
While a telling opening spell included the removal of the blossoming Tom Latham, a second ensured the early removal of tail-ender Trent Boult, as the Black Caps slipped to 210 all out in reply to the Proteas’ 282 for nine.
‘It was a bit frustrating at the end, we lost Imran Tahir, so I had to make up the overs too. I’ve been bowling a little bit, discussing the options. If I can land it, it will be handy in certain games, but I won’t bowl in all games,’ said de Villiers.
The in-form Amla was named Man of the Match, having secured the 16th century of a prolific ODI career. He struck 15 boundaries en route to an entertaining 119 off 135 balls – and shared an important 56-run alliance alongside fellow opener Quinton de Kock.
‘When Hashim bats like that it just sets up the whole line-up to be aggressive, and to get another century, well don. I thought Quinton started well as well, it is always important to get a good opening stand,’ added de Villiers.
The triumph came at somewhat of a cost. Leg-spinner Tahir sustained a shoulder injury after falling awkwardly during an attempt to prevent a boundary. If unfit for the final fixture, Tahir will likely be replaced by Robin Peterson, who is flying out to New Zealand to replace Aaron Phangiso, who has sustained a hairline fracture of a finger.