South Africa wrap up series with six wicket win

South Africa were left to celebrate a career-best return for Morne Morkel as well as The National Bank ODI series spoils against the BLACKCAPS tonight.

The tourists sealed the three-match series with a game in hand after comfortably winning the second encounter by six wickets with 11.4 overs to spare at McLean Park in Napier.

It left them with an unbeatable 2-0 series lead heading into the final match at Auckland on Saturday.

Tall fast bowler Morkel was in devastating form as he captured figures of five for 38 off 9.3 overs when New Zealand collapsed to be all out for 230 in 47.3 overs on a splendid batting surface.

Guided by Hashim Amla, who broke the back of the runchase with a delightful 92, the South African batsmen never looked likely to trip themselves up.

The bearded opener lost Jacques Kallis early but then formed partnerships of 69 with Faf du Plessis, who made 34 off 25 balls, and 87 with JP Duminy, who scored 43 off 39, as the South Africans refused to get bogged down.

Amla, who creamed his opening six fours in the first five overs, later settled into a slower rhythm once he had placed the New Zealand bowlers under pressure, but reached his 50 off only 51 balls before offering a chance off
legspinner Tarun Nethula which was spurned at long off by Rob Nicol.

Nethula, who also saw Jesse Ryder spill a catch at cover off Duminy, finally found Amla’s number with the batsman eight runs short of a deserved century when he dragged him forward and found an edge for wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum to grasp.

Amla’s innings featured 12 boundaries off 107 balls and by the time he departed at 192 for four in the 32nd over the outcome had been settled, save for the rubber stamping which came via skipper AB de Villiers, who was there at the end on 31 not out off 35.

Although his 10 overs cost 60 runs Nethula was arguable the pick of the home side’s bowlers, taking two wickets and beating the bat often enough to keep the tourists honest.   

Left-arm quick Andy McKay also did himself justice, bowling with pace and aggression and although wicketless his 10 overs went for 45 runs, 16 of them in one over.

New Zealand’s fate had been sealed earlier when they suffered a batting meltdown after promising to deliver so much more.

They lost five for 21 to surrender the advantage to the tourists, collapsing from a highly promising 163 for two in the 33rd over to 184 for seven before the tail eked out what runs it could.

New Zealand were firmly in the driver’s seat following a stand of 107 for the second wicket between Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum, the latter of whom remained in control after Guptill’s 16th one-day international half-century ended on 58 off 73 balls when he edged Jacques Kallis behind after striking eight fours.

McCullum and Kane Williamson put on another 30 when McCullum called for the batting power play in the 33rd over and from there on things went downhill in the hurry for the hosts.

New Zealand scored just 20 runs in the power play for the cost of three wickets as the innings underwent a sudden and permanent transformation.

Williamson holed out to mid on for 13 in the very first over of the power play and in the next over McCullum’s entertaining stay ended when he turned left-arm seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe down the throat of Justin Ontong on the mid wicket boundary.

McCullum’s departure was a grievous blow after he had struck 11 fours and two sixes in making 85 off 96 balls as he looked to benefit fully from being dropped on 18 by Tsotsobe.

New Zealand’s slide continued at a startling rate as Jesse Ryder edged Dale Steyn behind for a duck then James Franklin dragged a quick ball on to his stumps off the menacing Morne Morkel, who took a firm grip on proceedings as Kyle Mills was removed for a first-ball duck, as was Tarun Nethula.

Tim Southee swung his bat defiantly to make 28 off 26 balls, including successive sixes off Albie Morkel while Andrew Ellis made 19, but it was far too little far too late for the New Zealand team who lost their last eight wickets for 67 runs before being dismissed with 15 balls remaining of their allocation.

Morne Morkel, who twice sat on a hat-trick, ended with five wickets in an innings for the first time in his 54th one-day international, while Tsotsobe also impressed in taking three for 43 off his 10 overs.

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