New Zealand v South Africa, 2nd ODI, Napier February 29, 2012

Amla, Morne Morkel star as South Africa seal series


South Africa 231 for 4 (Amla 92, Duminy 43) beat New Zealand 230 (Brendon McCullum 85, Morne Morkel 5-38) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

An alluring one-day innings, this time from another of South Africa's batting juggernauts, Hashim Amla, saw the visitors canter to a series win with a six-wicket trouncing inside 39 overs in the second ODI in Napier. Amla's 92 took South Africa smoothly to within striking distance of the target, after a middle-order collapse from New Zealand had seen them bowled out in 47.3 overs for a woefully inadequate 230. Morne Morkel brushed aside the lower order and the tail, exploiting a hard pitch that supplemented his natural bounce, to collect each of New Zealand's last five wickets. South Africa were never at risk of fluffing an easy chase, with Amla at the rudder.

Less than 24 hours after Virat Kohli and India put on an exhibition in Powerplay batting, New Zealand spat up a performance at the other end of the spectrum, which derailed their innings, and effectively surrendered the match. Having overcome a tougher early period, the hosts skated to 163 for 2 in the 33rd over before unraveling dramatically. Brainless aggression from New Zealand, and superb execution in the field from South Africa, saw three wickets fall while the field was in, before two more quick strikes crushed any New Zealand hopes of a respectable total on what South Africa proved was a dream batting surface.

Kane Williamson's dismissal began the slide, but he was more the victim of terrific work from South Africa than his own folly. With mid-on and mid-off up, he attempted to loft Tsotsobe straight, but was fooled by the lack of pace and ended up launching it high in the air. He might have got away with it were it not for an outstanding backpedalling take from Jacques Kallis, who arched back and plucked the ball from two feet behind him as it hurtled down.

Brendon McCullum was next to go, after another promising half-century, picking out the fielder on the fence for the second time in as many matches, after Lonwabo Tsotsobe had invited his aerial leg-side flick with a full ball on the pads. Jesse Ryder's series failed to improve, as he too perished offering a poor stroke, to an angled Dale Steyn delivery that caught the edge as it moved across him.

Morkel scythed through the New Zealand tail after Tsotsobe and Steyn had made the incision in the middle order. He was on a hat-trick twice, with only Tim Southee's defiant 27-ball 28, breaking up his string of wickets. He finished with 5 for 38, his first five-wicket haul in ODIs.

At the end of their innings, New Zealand had lost eight wickets for 67, after Martin Guptill's 107-run partnership with McCullum had set them on track for 300.

Amla's imperious uppercut in the third over of the chase ignited a ten-ball salvo that yielded six fours, and launched South Africa's chase into a breakneck pace that did not relent until his dismissal in the 32nd over. Jacques Kallis departed early, after opening in place of an injured Graeme Smith, but Amla progressed unfazed, lacing crisp boundaries square on the off side during the mandatory Powerplay to propel the scoring rate beyond six an over, where it stayed for the entirety of the innings.

Faf du Plessis took little time to get in and match Amla's tempo, proving the trueness of the surface. The pair cavorted at close to seven an over at times, buffeting the square boundaries, but also ensuring the cover and straight fence got a pounding whenever the New Zealand bowlers over-corrected their lengths. du Plessis' departure to a clever catch from Martin Guptill, who tossed the ball to himself as he stepped over the square-leg boundary and then back in, did not slow the scoring, as JP Duminy resumed where his teammate left off and Amla cruised beyond 50.

Legspinner Tarun Nethula was the only bowler to trouble Amla, but with South Africa having made half New Zealand's target by the 20th over, the hosts had seemingly lost hope, which only compounded their woes. Nethula should have had Amla twice in one over, but the first top edge eluded fielders, while the second was shelled by Rob Nicol at long off. Jesse Ryder then frustrated Nethula further, by spilling Duminy, before Nethula caught the batsman himself, leaving nothing to his teammates who were seemingly already resigned to loss.

Nethula grew in confidence as his spell wore on, even finding turn on the rock-hard surface that Robin Peterson had earlier found difficult to bowl on. He bamboozled Amla several times before eventually having him caught behind, in sight of his tenth one-day hundred. AB de Villiers and Justin Ontong sauntered home under little pressure.

McCullum's 85 and Guptill's 58 were the only bright spots for New Zealand with the bat. Their partnership came at almost a run-a-ball as they looked to make the most of the favourable conditions. Though a spineless performance from the middle order will bear most of the blame, both set batsmen will be distraught not to have converted their half-centuries, and guided their side closer to a competitive total. New Zealand now only have pride to play for in Auckland on Saturday.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

Andrew Fernando writes for The Pigeon and has a column here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Ian on March 2, 2012, 4:29 GMT

    Cant wait for the tests to start, with Bouch behind the stumps will be a great contest between Guppy and A B in the field. They must both be well inside the top 5 fielders in modern cricket. As a SA supporter I would like NZ to win the last ODI just to for a little wake up call. Waiting in great anticipation for Kallis to make runs, there are few that make batting look as easy as he does.

  • Kevin on March 1, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Cricket is basically dying in NZ. The europeans no longer have any kids, the population is becoming almost entirely asian and pacific island, and they don't play cricket. The only possible saving grace could be the Indian population in NZ increases dramatically. I remember senior grade cricket in even provincial NZ in the 1980s being of a very high standard, with test and first class players in most club teams. Brendon Diamanti who moved to Perth recently compared the facilities and player depth for club teams there being far beyond first class level in NZ. It won't be long before NZ will be struggling to beat Zimbabwe, they certainly struggled to compete with them in Zimbabwe. That puts the state of the game in NZ in some perspective. In ten years I think it will be history.

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Why are these games so far apart? If they could play these mickey mouse games a couple of days apart, there'd be more time for the real cricket. Test cricket. Go SA!

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    @Maccanui I do agree our proteas do have a tendancy to choke on the big momement, pretty much like the All Black rugby team. But we are giving the black kittens a comprehensive hiding and thus far the kiddies have been lacking in class both on and off the field. Enjoy the last "game" on Saturday

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    told u tht zimbabwe big brother was does it feel now new zealand?

  • Dummy4 on March 1, 2012, 9:59 GMT

    @ morgsy

    What do you actually know about South Africa and the dynamics here? There are more people coming back to SA than leaving. In a year or two the Proteas will be ranked even higher than they are now. Best of luck to your team going forward, but you have to admit they have been totally outclassed by a much better unit and that is not likely to ever change.

  • Francois on March 1, 2012, 9:17 GMT

    Good win by the Proteas. Hope they can continue in this vain of form

  • Markus on March 1, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    On behalf of all the true cricket lovers in SA: our apologies for the bad sportsmanship shown by the few arrogant SA supporters on this and other forums! There will always be idiots (of all nationalities) who will make these types of comments when their team wins. They are usually the first ones to stop watching when their team starts losing. They don't care about the game itself, just as long as they win. And when they lose, they just somehow "disappear" and leave the real cricket fans to eat the humble pie created by their ungraciousness.

  • Mark on March 1, 2012, 7:17 GMT

    What I like about this team is the way we are playing and the fact that AB is moving the batting around. We have always had a problem with batting under pressure and it seems as though we are addressing that issue. I was reading an article asking why batsmen prefer batting in a certain positions. The only two batsmen that should know in which position they are going to bat are the two openers. We are starting to handle the pressure situations better and not just that we are shifting the pressure to the opposition.

    That being said we South African know deep down that without that world cup win dominance means nothing.

  • Shulz Van on March 1, 2012, 6:23 GMT

    people who says SA never won anything does not know cricket at all....they are the most consistent team in the rankings in the last 20 years. They are the only team to defeat India in a test series in India when no other team didn even could draw a test series in Indiia (2000) they are the first team to defeat Australia in Australia in both test and ODI (2008) where non other team couldnt even dream of. They lead against most of the teams in the world if u go Head to Head. They defeated England in England in the most recent away series. India failed to win a Test series against SA in the last two series played in India where SA handed some heavy defeat to India. They even defeated Pakistan in the last test played in Pakistan. NZ dont even come close compare to those opponents. NZ may remember how many times they beat SA. But SA most prolly lost counts how many times they beat NZ. SA is no. 2 in ODI and test..They also won the first CL tounament with an A team in Dhaka. NZ ranks below 5

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