Man of the match Hashim Amla scored his 16th ODI century to help South Africa win the second ODI against New Zealand by 72 runs in Mount Maunganui on Friday morning.
In pursuit of the 283-run target, the hosts were never at the races. Vernon Philander was the first to strike, getting rid of Martin Guptill for 11 in the 8th over. Wickets fells at regular intervals from that point, and by the 20th over, half of the New Zealand side was already back in the hut with just 69 runs on the board.
The wicketkeeper, Luke Ronchi, was once again the only the batsman who showed any real fight. He was the last man out for 79, taking the total to 210. Another poor effort with the bat meant that New Zealand slumped to a 72-run defeat and surrendered the series.
All six bowlers claimed a wicket and showed good control. Dale Steyn’s new ball spell of 2-15 in five overs was enough to make him the pick of the bunch. The most surprising of the bowling performances, however, was AB de Villiers effort. The captain gave himself six overs, claiming 2-28.
Earlier, the Black Caps won the toss and inserted the visitors, who got off to a great start. Quinton de Kock was the first to go, for a bright and breezy 26, with the score on 56 in the 13th over. Faf du Plessis strode to the wicket at No 3 and together with Amla put on the major partnership of the innings.
The two took the score to 169, before Jimmy Neesham had Du Plessis caught behind off the first delivery of the 34th over. South Africa’s banker in recent times had to go for a fluent 73-ball 67 when it looked like another ton was on the cards for the Titans man.
At the other end, Amla made no mistake and reached a well-deserved century off 127 deliveries. The Proteas were in a wonderful position going into the last eight overs, with Amla well set and De Villiers striking it sweetly. A score in excess of 300 seemed to be a certainty, but things went horribly wrong in the final stages.
The captain was caught behind in the 43th over for as 25-ball 37, to leave the visitors on 235-3. Two overs later, Amla was on his way for 119 off 135 deliveries. The Silent Warrior walked off with the scoreboard reading 257-4 in the 45th over.
With the batting power of JP Duminy, Rilee Rossouw and David Miller at the Proteas disposal, they would have been eying somewhere in the region of 320. It wasn’t to be, though, as Duminy was trapped in front by Trent Boult for a 16-ball 19, before the rest of the innings disintegrated.
After Dunimy became the fifth wicket to fall with one ball remaining in the 48th over, the rest of the batting card looked like a telephone number. Not one of the batsmen below number five reached double figures, and as a result, the innings stuttered to its conclusion at 282-9.