New Zealand vs South Africa 4th ODI: Guptill’s 180 not out keeps New Zealand alive

Guptill celebrates after bringing up his 12th ODI century

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Returning from a pair of hamstring injuries, New Zealand opener Martin Guptill put on a show in the fourth ODI in Hamilton as he hammered an unbeaten 180 to lead the Black Caps to a seven-wicket win over South Africa.

Guptill’s knock not only brought New Zealand level at 2-2 in the series, but it was also his third-highest in ODI cricket behind the 237 not out he made against the West Indies in the 2015 World Cup and the 189 not out he scored against England in Southampton in June 2013.

The 30-year-old’s spectacular innings was also the fourth-highest individual score while chasing in ODIs. The top three innings belong to Shane Watson, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli, who made 185 not out, an unbeaten 183 and 183 respectively.

To make things worse for South Africa, their run at the top of the ODI team rankings, which hasn’t even lasted a month, came to an end as they have now been overtaken by Australia.

Opting to bat first, South Africa got off to a horrendous start as opening batsman Quinton de Kock was caught behind off the bowling of Jeetan Patel for a golden duck on the third ball of the match.

Hashim Amla and Faf du Plessis made up for the early loss of De Kock with a 65-run partnership before Amla was clean bowled by Patel for 40.

Du Plessis and JP Duminy kept the runs flowing with a 62-run stand, during which Du Plessis surpassed his half-century, before Duminy was cleaned up by Tim Southee for 25.

Du Plessis went on to make 67 off 97 balls, which included four boundaries, before he was removed by James Neesham.

Du Plessis made his 25th ODI fifty

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Things went from bad to worse for the Proteas as David Miller only made one run, while Dwaine Pretorius was run out by Ross Taylor for 10.

Captain AB de Villiers and Chris Morris calmed things down for the tourists with a 58-run partnership before Morris was clean bowled by Trent Boult for 28.

De Villiers and Wayne Parnell finished the innings brilliantly for South Africa as they accumulated a 63-run partnership off just 26 balls to help their side finish on 279/8 off their 50 overs.

De Villiers ended up making 72 not out, which came off 59 balls and included four boundaries and three sixes, while Parnell, who was run out off the last ball of the innings, scored 29 off 12 deliveries, which included two boundaries and two sixes.

De Villiers scored his 52nd ODI fifty

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Patel was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Southee, Boult, Neesham and Mitchell Santner chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 280 to win, New Zealand got off to a disappointing start as opener Dean Brownlie was caught behind off the bowling of Kagiso Rabada for four runs.

Guptill began to take over after Brownlie’s dismissal and dominated the 72-run partnership he put together with skipper Kane Williamson.

But, the stand was broken when Williamson was trapped lbw off the bowling of Imran Tahir for 21.

That was to be South Africa’s last taste of success for a lengthy period of time as Guptill and Ross Taylor amassed a 180-run partnership, during which Guptill sailed past the 150-run mark, while Taylor brought up his half-century.

With New Zealand within touching distance of victory, Tahir got his second wicket of the match after taking out Taylor for 66 off 97 balls, which included seven boundaries and a six.

Taylor scored his 33rd fifty in ODIs

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Despite the loss of Taylor, Guptill ensured he stayed at the crease to lead New Zealand to victory and did so with five overs to spare.

Guptill finished unbeaten on 180, which came off 138 deliveries, which included 15 boundaries and 11 sixes.

Tahir was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Rabada claimed one.

De Villiers was gutted to have lost, and said: “We have to analyse where we went wrong. We struggled to get partnerships going and it was difficult to get momentum going. Fantastic innings by Martin, but there are areas we definitely need to improve. I was confident of the total we got.

“We needed to get Martin out, but we just could not create enough opportunities to get him out. Imran bowled really well tonight. The conditions change in ODI cricket – 100 overs are a lot of time. I would not say we had the worse or the better of the conditions. We were just outplayed. It’s 2-2, so not all is done and dusted. Big final coming at Eden Park, hopefully, we can do well there.”

Williamson was thrilled with the series-saving win, and said: “Guppy was unbelievable. Probably the best knock I have seen on wicket that wasn’t easy. At the halfway stage, when we reflected on it, we would have certainly liked to restrict them to much lesser. But Martin came out and played a special innings. And Ross Taylor also did well to take the pressure of him. Overall, I think the guys did pretty well.

“South Africa bat deep and we would have liked to do well towards the end when we bowled. AB is probably the best player in the world. On this surface, we would have liked to make it a little more difficult for him, so we have to do our homework going into the next game. Every game in this series has been different, as have the grounds and the surfaces. It is important to go into Eden park and make improvements.

“Batting was great but there is room for improvement. It was nice to have a few guys back and get over the line. Martin came back and did what he does the best which is hit the cricket ball.”

Guptill was named Man of the Match, an said: “We just kept talking about taking it as deep as we can. It was important to rotate the strike and then accelerate in the end. Myself and Ross had a good partnership.”

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