Comprehensive: Iain O'Brien is clean bowled by Dale Steyn
A magnificent spell of 6 for 49 from Dale Steyn decimated a feeble New Zealand and led to South Africa winning the second and final Test at Centurion inside three days by an innings and 59 runs. It was Steyn's second ten-wicket haul in consecutive Tests, and New Zealand now limp towards a three-match one-day series.
This was a rout of frightening speed. It took South Africa just 34.3 overs to steamroll New Zealand for 136, a total that included Stephen Fleming's 54. Scott Styris scraped together 29; Brendon McCullum 21, while extras stole 11. The rest aren't worth talking about.
Steyn, however, is. For the second time in consecutive Tests he baffled - even occasionally frightened - New Zealand's wary top-order with pace, movement and aggression. As was the case in Johannesburg, he received fine support from Makhaya Ntini, Andre Nel and Jacques Kallis - all of whom were good, if not as exemplary as their young colt. Today, however, Steyn had one other helping hand: the finger of Mark Benson.
Lou Vincent was the first unlucky recipient when Benson adjudged that a leg-side slider would somehow have hit the stumps. It was a dreadful decision, but such is the way of the world when all is against you. Steyn, roaring up to the crease and in excellent rhythm, removed Michael Papps leg-before (plumb, this time) while Kallis ended Styris' staunch support of Fleming when he induced a thick outside edge.
Fleming batted angrily, petulantly and excellently - as he has in both these Tests - taking the aggressive route and seizing upon another short and wide. Of course, 105 Tests have taught him the value of patience and experience - both attributes which New Zealand lack in spades, as exemplified by Ross Taylor.
After thumping two fours, Nel roared a typically raucous and unlikely appeal for lbw which Taylor, and the umpire, dismissed out of hand. Noticing he had wandered from his crease, Hashim Amla at short-leg grabbed the ball and flicked it onto the stumps to run him out. Clever of Amla; careless and plain daft from Taylor. It rather sums up New Zealand cricket at the moment
Fleming too fell victim to a debatable decision when a Steyn inducker trapped him in front, fifth man to depart, for a valiant 54, and the last four (Craig Cumming flew home yesterday following surgery) fell within 28 balls to complete the trouncing.
South Africa cricket is shining at the moment. First their success in Pakistan, now a thrashing of New Zealand - but two shadows lurk. The first is the pitches which have been criticised by the captain, Graeme Smith. South Africa didn't have it all their own way today - they collapsed, too, from 272 for 3 to 332 for 8 owing to a fine debut performance from Mark Gillespie. 17 wickets have fallen on a third-day pitch.
Secondly, South Africa only needed three people to win this series: Amla (291 @ 145.50), Kallis (346 @ 115) and Steyn (20 wickets @ 9.20). This says more about the paucity of talent in New Zealand cricket, of course, but the home side were only remotely troubled in three sessions out of two Tests. It has hardly tested their mettle.
What an introduction to Test captaincy it has been for Daniel Vettori.
Will Luke is a staff writer at Cricinfo