South Africa v New Zealand, 3rd ODI, Potchefstroom January 26, 2013

Big day for New Zealand team - McCullum

ESPNcricinfo staff

Brendon McCullum said it was a big day for the New Zealand team to win the ODI series despite narrowly missing out on inflicting a whitewash on South Africa in Potchefstroom. New Zealand were a wicket away from their third consecutive win, but a six off the last ball by Ryan McLaren gave South Africa a consolatory win.

"It would have been great to win the series 3-0," McCullum said. "But winning the series, achieving what we've achieved in this series and even how we've played today as well, we've showed the characteristics that we want to be known for."

New Zealand made a shaky start after choosing to bat and were 68 for 4 in the 22nd over. But resurgent half-centuries by Grant Elliott, Colin Munro and James Franklin lifted them to a competitive 260. South Africa responded with a controlled chase, but the fall of Graeme Smith towards the end of the innings allowed the New Zealand bowlers to exert pressure on the inexperienced middle-order and almost pull off another win.

''Our bowlers tried hard all day. The wicket did skid on a little bit, and it was probably slightly easier to bat on in that second innings," McCullum said. "But that's the nature of the toss as well and playing in foreign conditions. I can't speak highly enough of the effort from our guys."

''I thought we showed some real character and some real fighting qualities to hang in there, when we were behind the eight ball and get ourselves back in the game. Graeme Smith's innings today was a phenomenal innings and deserved to be on the winning side.

After the humiliation in the two Tests, McCullum saw the result in the ODIs as a big boost. He said the team showed it was capable of competing with the best but now needs to do it on a consistent basis.

"We competed in the Twenty20s, but South Africa deserved the result; in Tests we were blown off the park by a team at the top of their game. It was a learning opportunity to see the best in action and see how far we need to improve, but to win the ODI series has been satisfying, not only for the group of players, but also for the management and the fans."

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  • Aariz on January 26, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Who's the man of the series?

  • Andrew on January 26, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    South Africa played a side that was far inferior to them ... which had been deflated by Taylor and Ryder among others not being in the side ... they should have lost 3-0 but for the last shot of the game ... South Africa in their defense will point to the absence of key ODI specialists in Amla, De Villiers, Duminy, Boucher for various reasons ... The rested Kallis and only one of Morkel, Steyn playing in what is rather like a B team ... but in reality shows that the depth of South African cricket is shallow ... even though the side with all and sundry went down to New Zealand in WC2011 ... So New Zealand can claim to have beaten the top rated Test side in ODIs ... from a position that South Africa had a grip of the number 1 ODI position as well ...

  • Prashan on January 26, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Oh Brendon McCullum surely if Neesham took the catch off Ryan McLaren we could have seen a 3-0 result! SURELY! No doubt you can fly home with some pride but 3-0 would have been the perfect way. But 2-1 is still very good indeed.

    Target the home series against England to do well by all means. Williamson must be given more bowling at tests too as he can be a partnership breaker. Looking forward to seeing Ryder, Taylor and Southee return soon.

  • Mohammad on January 26, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    Problems and more problems for south Africa, they just got beaten comprehensively by the lowest but one ranked odi team.

    which looked far superior than the socalled number one team, HOW cosmetic and distracting ICC ranking system is ,this series showed us a glimpse of it

  • Scott on January 26, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    The Black Caps should be very proud of their ODI performances on this tour. They displayed plenty resilience and determination to rebound from being completely outplayed and embarrassed in the tests to beat South Africa in the shorter format of the game, in their own backyard.

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