New Zealand v South Africa, 3rd ODI, Auckland March 3, 2012

de Lange bowls South Africa to 3-0 win


South Africa 208 for 5 (Amla 76, Morkel 41) beat New Zealand 206 (McCullum 47, de Lange 4-46) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

South Africa rested their bowler of the series and three injured batsmen, promoted a tailender to the top of the order, and had their big-hitting allrounder at No.3, but New Zealand still could not prevent a heavy five-wicket loss and a whitewash in a series that rarely had the visitors extended. Marchant de Lange had broken loose over a brittle New Zealand middle order to set up the emphatic victory - his 4 for 46 helping to dismiss the hosts for a paltry 206 after Dale Steyn and Lonwabo Tsotsobe had built an impressive dam of pressure with the new ball. Hashim Amla made another pleasing half-century to lead South Africa's reply, which achieved the target in the 44th over.

New Zealand's innings clunked and whirred in frustrating spurts until the hosts were put out of their misery in 47th over. Though they did well at times to negotiate terrific one-day bowling, particularly from South Africa's fast men, wickets fell with startling regularity and batsmen succumbed just as New Zealand seemed to be recovering from the last blow. The first five partnerships read 13, 32, 29, 31, 55. Each pair had a start, but none could complete the recovery they had begun, as batsmen lost their heads and their wickets to surrender any momentum they had wrested - usually at a significant cost to the scoring-rate.

South Africa were almost casual in reply. Wayne Parnell, who has an ODI average below 20 and a List A average below 25, opened the innings with Hashim Amla, after Jacques Kallis and Justin Ontong joined Graeme Smith on the injury list. The pair made a swift 80-run dent in the target, before Parnell was dismissed in the 16th over. Even with South Africa's significantly depleted batting order, with Amla contributing once more, 207 turned out to be a cakewalk.

Amla's innings didn't match the pace of his Napier knock at Eden Park, but it was no less classy. Favouring the leg side for boundary hits this time, he negotiated the new ball with characteristic ease. A knee-high full toss from Kyle Mills was succinctly dispatched, before a serene glide down the ground brought four more in the next over. The ease with which Parnell also managed the early period perhaps betrayed the gulf between South Africa' new-ball pair - who at times were unplayable - and New Zealand's opening bowlers, but it was also a statement on an Eden Park pitch that suited batting.

Amla survived a reprieve on 30, when he was dropped by Nathan McCullum, but when he was eventually dismissed for 76, the middle order only needed to saunter home. Albie Morkel hit three sixes in a brisk 41, and though both Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy were dismissed late in the game by Rob Nicol, with less than 20 runs to get, AB de Villiers had little to do.

de Villiers had hoped to exploit the weather and a pitch that had had some rain when he opted to bowl, and his new-ball bowlers could have hardly made better use of the friendly conditions. The skid in the surface added another layer of venom to Steyn's outswing, while Tsotsobe's steady seamers also benefitted from movement not normally seen at Eden Park. The pair's unerring lines and impeccable length offered precious little to New Zealand's typically explosive top order, but even when they did stray, as Tsotsobe did in the fifth over, South Africa's fielders shone - Faf du Plessis dived well to his left to snatch a full blooded aerial cut from Martin Guptill.

While Steyn and Tsotsobe thrived on the movement created by their skill, de Lange's raw pace and aggressive length added the brutal edge to the attack. Rob Nicol was laid flat on his back by a 144kph bouncer at his throat, while McCullum, too, was hopping around deep in the crease to stay on top of the bounce.

Nicol succumbed to a slider from Johan Botha after he had done well to survive the pace barrage, but de Lange returned to fell McCullum in the 22nd over, in a dismissal that betrayed McCullum's scars from their previous battle. Having made 13 from Dale Steyn's previous over, McCullum seemed to be reviving a scoring-rate after having accumulated steadily alongside Kane Williamson. But he played back to de Lange, in anticipation of the quick, short ball, and ended up only scooping the full delivery to point.

Williamson and James Franklin then began yet another phase of rebuilding, but almost as soon as their association began to gain traction, Williamson was run out superbly by du Plessis, who was horizontal in mid-flight when he let his pinpoint throw fly. In a cruel snapshot of New Zealand's innings, the wicket had fallen the very delivery after the first four of the partnership was struck. 

Colin de Grandhomme lofted a free-hit ball over deep midwicket to relax early nerves on debut, and the risk-averse accumulation resumed anew, this time with perhaps a tad more vigour. Franklin was intent on dropping anchor, but de Grandhomme showed glimmers of his aggressive potential when he threw in the odd calculated slog amid the singles. But although a 40-minute rain delay just before the batting Powerplay didn't assuage de Grandhomme's desire to boost the scoring-rate, a hostile maiden from Steyn quieted his progress, and then a direct hit from Albie Morkel at mid-off silenced him altogether. Another start, another poor option and another dismissal just as a platform was being put together - New Zealand's innings read like a study in badly learnt lessons. de Grandhomme's departure left New Zealand 160 for 5 in the 39th over.

The wickets of Franklin - again to an awful shot - and Andrew Ellis, three overs later, plunged them further, and only a tailender's 13 from Michael Bates helped them limp beyond 200.

Edited by Nikita Bastian

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and has a column here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 5, 2012, 1:21 GMT

    Marchant de Lange looked great on debut. I was at the game and noticed his run up was actually shorter than Steyn's and Tsotsobe's but generated quick pace.

    He'll be a handful in the tests no doubt about it, especially if they play Steyn AND Philander with Morkel.

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2012, 21:43 GMT

    Proteas were just to good, De Lange looks aweseome! Wish we had someone like that coming through for the Black Caps... I think the ODIs would have been more even if we had Vettori still, Taylor was there, and Ryder was in form and not causing trouble but we'll never know. Wouldn't mind seeing this SA team take on the old Aussie team of McGrath / Warne etc and in Aussie! That'll be an awesome series. Will be good to see Eng v SA. Black Caps just aren't good enough and I doubt ever will be. We need some express pace bowlers but never really had any world class ones apart from Bond. Hoping for some good individual performances in the tests but don't fancy our chances of 5 good days of cricket to win.

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    chandruvignesh please don't compare SA to India. India is a loosing course. They are the worst team in fighting back. Even Bangladesh and Zimbabwe is better than India in that aspect. So please don't insult SA.

  • Hritam on March 4, 2012, 13:18 GMT

    De Lange seems to be a good bowler. His, Sunil Narine's and McCullum's buy from the players' auction could stand KKR in good stead in IPL 5. I as a cricket fan from Kolkata support KKR. Go KKR win IPL 5, after your optimistic performances in 2011, you can go one-step ahead!

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2012, 8:56 GMT

    merchant de lange is a fine new talent for sa and a future star.

  • greig on March 4, 2012, 8:19 GMT

    Test lineup: 1.Smith, 2.Petersen 3 Amla, 4.Kallis, 5 de Villiers 6. Rudolf/Duminy/Faff 7. Boucher 8. Philander 9 Morkel 10 steyn 11. Tahir

  • Dummy4 on March 4, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    Marchant de Lange is the most exciting fast bowler in the world at present with an incredible future ahead of him if properly nurtured by Gary Kirsten. Seven wickets on Test debut, four on ODI debut...He has pace, lift, aggression, all the attributes needed for a successsful career. Watch this youngster!

  • Vigneshwaran on March 4, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    Love the way RSA beat NZ simply after losing the first T20! They're a lot like India, in the way that you need to beat 'em out in the first game which will bring in the leopard inside them and then boy, you're dead! Can't wait for the Test match series! :)

  • crik on March 3, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    Never make Amla a captain, not becoz he is not a good leader, but he is a natural performer and let him perform w/out any burdens... SA will commit mistake if they do promote Amla as captain and tinker with his performance..

  • Angus on March 3, 2012, 21:10 GMT

    Congratulations SA. A team of stars also playing like a star team. Great fielding to complement the bowling. And batsmen who look a class above anything our team can hope to match. Disappointing we didn't put up more of a fight. After Hobart, it looked like a new dawn for NZ cricket. Although it's just the short forms, the same old lack of backbone is rearing it's ugly mug. Fingers crossed the NZ test team rediscovers some grunt or these tests wont get into day four...

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