South Africa’s all round game clinched the series
South Africa survived a final over showdown as they triumphed over New Zealand in the third Twenty20 International at Auckland.
With this victory, South Africa claimed the series 2-1 and showed that they are a force to be reckoned with.
South Africa’s Captain, AB de Villiers, who was motivated by the series win still saw the need for the team to play at a higher standard. “We do feel very good about the win, but we want to play a certain standard of cricket and we still need to do that more consistently” he said.
The tourists’ were put in to bat first, but none of their batsmen provided major contributions towards their par total of 165. Batsmen Jean Paul Duminy cracked 38 runs from 20 deliveries and he was backed up by opener Hashim Amla who made 33 runs off 22 deliveries.
New Zealand’s Rob Nicol and Tim Southee both had two wickets in an attempt to keep South Africa to a fairly low total.
New Zealand started off with full confidence in their chase of 166, with opener Rob Nicol and Martin Guptill getting things started. However, Jesse Ryder was the star of the batting as he hammered 52 runs off 42 balls in a dire attempt to carry New Zealand towards their target.
However, with some tight, accurate bowling and superb fielding, the South Africans clawed their way back into the game and by the final over, New Zealand still needed seven runs.
Marchant de Lange bowled a near perfect final over for South Africa as he took two wickets and only gave away three runs, however on his final delivery he bowled a no ball and gave away a free hit, leaving New Zealand just four runs to win off the last ball, but he redeemed himself and sealed the deal.
Morne Morkel and Johan Botha also had two wickets as they helped in South Africa’s victory.
Johan Botha was named the Man of the Match for dismissing Martin Guptill and Jesse Ryder, two of New Zealand’s top run scorers. “These small boundaries are very interesting, good balls do go for six in New Zealand but you just have to hope you can get it right” he said.
New Zealand Captain, Brendon McCullum, who credited the South Africans on their all round game and thought his team should have done better, said: “South Africa put us under pressure and to their credit, they held their nerve. We just weren’t good enough at the end there, we faltered.”
Captain de Villiers, was full of complements for his teams’ effort and control. “Amazing team effort, really proud of the men, we hung on at the end there” he said.
With the series victory, South Africa will look to continue their dominance in the ODI series, which begins on the 25th of February at Wellington.