3rd T20I (N), Auckland, Feb 22 2012, South Africa tour of New Zealand
(20 ov, target 166)
South Africa won by 3 runs
Player Of The Match
South Africa
• Firdose Moonda

South Africa pull off heist to win series

South Africa performed the ultimate anti-choke as 21-year-old tearaway Marchant de Lange defended seven runs off the last over to clinch the Twenty20 series 2-1

Match centre 
Scorer: Binoy George
Commentator: Avi Singh
Scorecard summary
South Africa165/7(20 overs)
New Zealand162/7(20 overs)
Jesse Ryder52 (42)
Rob Nicol33 (19)
end of over 203 runs • 2 wicket
NZ: 162/7CRR: 8.1 
Tim Southee0 (1)
James Franklin9 (8)
Marchant de Lange4-0-36-2
Johan Botha4-0-20-2

Well, the feedbacks are flying in and they all seem to have one particular word in them. It begins with a C...

Resident feedbacker Mark Kidger sums up much of the reaction: "Unbelievable. NZ relax and try to push singles to close it out and LOSE from a position where they only needed about 4 and over with plenty of wickets left!! Never give up..."

South Africa move up to 2nd in the Twenty20 rankings while New Zealand drop to fourth.

Amol: "Ryder is the Hero or Villain, bit confused." Many people are, but in the end he probably leans towards the latter for the string of dot balls towards the end of the innings


Brendon McCullum: "South Africa put us under pressure and to their credit, they held their nerve. We just weren't good enough at the end there, we faltered. The bowlers bounced back after an off-game last time out and most of our batting was pretty good. The last four or five overs, we didn't get enough singles and it wasn't our smartest finish to the game. Disappointing to not be able to give the folk of Canterbury the tribute we wanted to. I thought Jesse was outstanding for the majority of the innings, they slowed the pace to him in the last few overs and on his day he would normally finish that off."

AB de Villiers: "Amazing team effort, really proud of the men, we hung on at the end there. Really tough batting first and assessing what was a good total, we lost momentum in the middle overs, unfortunately we had a slow start with ball in hand but I told the guys to hang in there. I truly believe Marchant has got it, he has big match temperament, I think the whole team has that and we managed to get a few wickets to turn things around. We do feel very good about the win, but we want to play a certain standard of cricket and we still need to do that more consistently."

Johan Botha is the Man of the Match: "It was a bit short straight but I thought I was in with a chance, if you can hit a good length you're in with a chance as guys just look to hit straight. These small boundaries are very interesting, good balls do go for six in New Zealand but you just have to hope you can get it right."

Michael Cabral sums up the South African feedbacks flying in (apart from the C word, of course): "Great coverage! Sitting in the office screaming at my computer hasn't left me in good standing with the boss, though! Thought SA had duffed it with the no-ball in the the dying seconds of the game, but can't believe NZ let us come back like that. It seems the pressure is getting to them..."

Warren responds to the battering he's been taking with some words of conciliation: "Eating my words about NZ now! Us South Africans have taken a giant step in outsmarting opposition by infecting them with our most infamous quality!"

Stephen Gelb asks: "What is the rule about the free hit? since franklin faced the no ball, shouldnt he have faced the free hit? or did the single they took mean he couldnt face. if so, a VERY aware batsman (if given an early no ball call) would have refused the single to keep himself on strike for the free hit and give his side a chance to win. not that I blame him. but what a great turnaround & brave captaincy to give de lange the last over...." If the batsmen run through for a single on a no-ball, they do not swap back for the free hit. To be fair to Franklin, he only realised late in the event that it had been called, and had he not run it, he would have needed to hit four just to tie it, whereas Southee could have won New Zealand the game had he hit a boundary

Former Cricinfo man and former New Zealand Under-19 captain Marc Ellison on Twitter: "Trying to explain to the Mrs how bad a choke that was: I've gone for Arsenal getting up over Chelsea having been 3 down with 10 to play."

New Zealand scored 21 runs in the last five overs and lost four wickets. That would have been a poor finish in an ODI, so in a Twenty20 chase it was simply disastrous. South Africa came back from the dead and Johan Botha in particular really applied a stranglehold (pardon the pun!) on the Kiwis. One side will be jubilant tonight, the other will be distraught. Mark Richardson and Dion Nash have begun the New Zealanders' post-mortem on TV. I'll leave you all to our own coverage courtesy of Firdose Moonda on what has been a rather unbelievable night of cricket. I'm taking a break for the ODIs, but will be back for the eagerly anticipated Test series between these two teams, beginning on the 7th of March in Dunedin. Until then, this is Avi Singh thanking you all for the entertaining mails tonight, and signing off on behalf of Binoy George on scoring and Firdose Moonda who is frantically re-writing her match report as we speak. Do join us on Saturday for the 1st ODI in Wellington beginning at 2.00pm local time. Bye for now!

de Lange to Southee, no run
de Lange holds his nerve, fires it in outside off and Southee misses with the swing to leg, AB collects and runs up to the stumps to prevent any runs and South Africa have pulled off an absolute stunner at Eden Park

All of a sudden it's a free hit, 4 off 1, 3 to tie but that's unlikely given this ground's dimensions, but the batsmen can keep running even if the fielder takes a catch

de Lange to Franklin, (no ball) 1 run
would you believe it? he's bowled a front-foot no-ball, it was full outside off and Franklin hit it along the ground to long-off, the South Africans begin celebrating only to look up in horror at the standing umpire, they managed to take a single as well

Franklin on strike, he needs to hit a six to win the game, a four won't be enough to tie it up

de Lange to Bracewell, OUT
South Africa should win this now as Bracewell goes for an almighty slog to leg as the ball is full on off, skied high in the air and settles in the hands of Amla at point and he ends up diving forward to take it
DAJ Bracewell c Amla b de Lange 0 (2m 2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00
de Lange to Bracewell, no run
bangs in a bouncer on middle, risky considering if it hits bat it's probably flying away, but in the end it pays off as Bracewell can't connect with a big swing
de Lange to NL McCullum, OUT
now they are in full-blown panic mode, moved across way outside off and tried to paddle pull, got a glove on it and it skied up to AB behind the stumps, are the home team going to do what their opposition is usually accused of doing?
NL McCullum c †de Villiers b de Lange 0 (4m 2b 0x4 0x6) SR: 0.00
de Lange to NL McCullum, no run
short and wide outside off, beats the cut and he is shocked that the umpire hasn't called wide, New Zealand all of a sudden struggling

Nathan McCullum to face his first ball

de Lange to Franklin, 1 run
Franklin drills a full ball outside off on the bounce to long-off

de Lange to bowl the final over, this is a gamble as de Villiers goes with pace

end of over 193 runs • 1 wicket
NZ: 159/5CRR: 8.36 • RRR: 7.00
James Franklin7 (6)
Nathan McCullum0 (0)
Johan Botha4-0-20-2
Morne Morkel4-0-31-2
Botha to Franklin, 1 run
full on the pads and Franklin works it to deep midwicket for a single, New Zealand need 7 from the final over
Botha to Ryder, OUT
and that was a poor shot by Ryder, he walked across the stumps and tried to lap it over his shoulder but ended up scooping it to Morne on the edge of the circle, can South Africa pull off the unthinkable?
JD Ryder c M Morkel b Botha 52 (56m 42b 5x4 2x6) SR: 123.80
Botha to Ryder, no run
outside off and very slow, mistimes the drive back to Botha, South Africa just placing New Zealand under some pressure here
Botha to Franklin, 1 run
full on leg and clipped away to deep midwicket, the home side doing this in singles at the moment
Botha to Ryder, 1 run
worked into the leg side and Franklin wants a couple but he is sent back by Ryder
Botha to Ryder, no run
comes down and jams a ball on leg to backward square
end of over 185 runs
NZ: 156/4CRR: 8.66 • RRR: 5.00
Jesse Ryder51 (38)
James Franklin5 (4)
Morne Morkel4-0-31-2
Johan Botha3-0-17-1
M Morkel to Ryder, 1 run
oh my oh my oh my! I cannot believe he has dropped that, Ryder has skied the drive into orbit and Ontong is hanging around under it waiting for it to come down, when it does he is simply not anywhere near where he should be to take it and ends up reaching with his fingers before spilling it, that was fielding reminiscent of this summer's other African touristsd, Zimbabwe
M Morkel to Franklin, 1 run
short on leg and tucked into the wide mid-on area
M Morkel to Ryder, 1 run
Ryder wristily clips a ball on leg into open space through square leg to bring up his half-century on his comeback from 37 balls, the cult hero's popularity shows no signs of waning
M Morkel to Ryder, no run
full outside off and he can't get the drive past mid-on
M Morkel to Ryder, no run
mistimes the pull completely and it lobs to mid-on on the bounce, Ryder anxious to reach his half-century
Best performances - batsmen
JD Ryder
52 runs (42)
5 fours
2 sixes
Productive shot
off side drive on front foot
17 runs
2 fours
0 sixes
JP Duminy
38 runs (20)
2 fours
2 sixes
Productive shot
off side drive on front foot
12 runs
0 fours
1 sixes
Best performances - bowlers
RJ Nicol
J Botha
Match details
Eden Park, Auckland
TossNew Zealand , elected to field first
SeriesSouth Africa tour of New Zealand
Player Of The Match
Johan Botha
Series resultSouth Africa won the 3-match series 2-1
Match numberT20I no. 223
Hours of play (local time)19.00 start, First Session 19.00-20.15, Interval 20.15-20.30, Second Session 20.30-21.50
Match days22 February 2012 - night match (20-over match)
Gary Baxter
Chris Gaffaney
TV Umpire
Barry Frost
Reserve Umpire
Derek Walker
Match Referee
Roshan Mahanama