South Africa v New Zealand, 2nd Twenty20, East London December 24, 2012

McCullum hails New Zealand turnaround

ESPNcricinfo staff

Brendon McCullum has hailed New Zealand's turnaround after they beat South Africa off the last ball of the match in East London to square the series 1-1 and set up a finale for Boxing Day. New Zealand had been shot out for 86 in the opening game but bounced back, thanks to a century from Martin Guptill, who struck the last ball for four to reach a hundred and seal New Zealand's victory in their chase.

"It is great that the team turned around in 48 hours and a great knock by Martin after being sick a couple of days back," McCullum said. Our bowlers did well to stop South Africa's batting line up, but no one expected Martin to play that innings after being sick."

Guptill finished on 101 not out, off 69 balls, including nine fours and six sixes. He was part of two half-century stands, one with fellow opener Rob Nicol and then McCullum. "That's the mindset I took in today, I just wanted to get in and have a feel for the wicket," Guptill said. "With the batting we've got down the order, we had to build a platform early and with wickets in hand, we could attack from anywhere."

Left-arm spinner Aaron Phangiso, on T20 debut, was targeted by New Zealand's batsmen; he conceded 42 in four overs. "It's the first time I've actually swept the ball in international cricket, never really played spin that well," Guptill said. "We wanted to put a bit of pressure on him, it's his first game, and make him show his skills."

"One guy played a sublime knock, the guys around him played some smart cricket as well. Nicol's hand today was good," McCullum said. "We want to play an aggressive brand of cricket, but the other day highlighted the areas we need to fine-tune a little bit."

Faf du Plessis, the South Africa captain, rued the catches that went down in New Zealand's chase but was all praise for Guptill. "We scored enough with the bat. But it was an unbelievable hundred by Guptill. For me it is about learning, and today it was a steep learning curve. We didn't play a bad game, we were just outplayed by a great innings."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Che on December 26, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    @Aariz Hazari of course we can blame McCullum for the captain saga. It was Him Vettori and the coach that undermined Taylor the whole time. They deliberately set out to take the captaincy off Taylor and now have achieved it. Now McCullum is trying to take credit for Guptil playing a fantastic innings. Is there no limited to this over-rated players ego?

  • Ali on December 25, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    oh wow ... Mc Cullen has shown his cards?

    is he hailing the NZ turn around started by his former captain in the last Test agianst SL ?

    Or is he claiming the turn around due to his captaincy ???

    Credit to Guptil ...

    but NZ does has not turned anything.... 1 person winning a game is not a is a RARE event

  • Dummy4 on December 25, 2012, 0:19 GMT

    completely agree Rich. Loved his acknowledgement of Taylor in his speech

  • Dylan on December 24, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    New Zealand's turnaround? Or Martin Guptill winning the game for us? McCullum looking for anything to try and make people believe he has it in him to lead the 'team'.

  • adam on December 24, 2012, 17:29 GMT

    Ha Ha. The only thing that changed from the first game was Martin Guptill. He came in and played a super innings. Apart from that there is nothing for McCullum to 'hail'. The bowling was average and the fielding was littered with lame mistakes. Literally no-one else did anything worth mentioning. And the best thing for me was Guppy's little acknowledgement of Ross Taylor in the post match conference. Keep dreaming McCullum.

  • Dummy4 on December 24, 2012, 12:13 GMT

    come on iago u can't blame McCullum for the whole captaincy saga.

  • Peter on December 24, 2012, 10:41 GMT

    This win was fashioned despite McCullum and Hesson so it's a bit rich the acting captain to try and claim credit for a "team performance" that wasn't. The dressing room must be even more interesting now as Guptill is very obviously in Taylor's corner.

  • Dummy4 on December 24, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    ohh really gothetaniwha all Mccullum wanted to do was to take pressure off guptil...a boundary at that time would have taken all the pressure off the kiwis and on the proteas

  • Dennis on December 24, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    So it was a great team effort McCullum ,No - it was a super solo effort from Guptill that u tried to lose by playing another dumb shot when all u had to do was turn the strike over , whey to go Guptill even i have been knocking u congrats .

  • Dummy4 on December 24, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    McCullum says he want to play aggressive cricket. Of course they do, cos hey don't have the skills to win without taking major risks. Some days you get away with it, most days you don't.

    Otherwise I can't believe the South African fielders all came in before the last ball, when they knew Guptill needed 4 to win. Surely they weren't trying to lose the game.

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