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Pacers, Guptill century help New Zealand draw level

Visitors win second ODI against South Africa by eight wickets to set up decider in Durban on Wednesday

Pacers, Guptill century help New Zealand draw level
 - Cricket News
Martin Guptill celebrates his half-century.

Martin Guptill’s unbeaten century helped New Zealand cruise to a series-levelling eight-wicket win in the second One-Day International against South Africa at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Sunday (August 23).

Guptill made 103 not out, reaching his ninth ODI century with the winning boundary, as New Zealand won with 5.5 overs to spare after bowling South Africa out for 204.

That New Zealand got into a position of strength was courtesy the efforts of Doug Bracewell, who led a disciplined bowling performance as the South African batsmen failed to come to terms with a two-paced pitch. Bracewell, playing in his first ODI in more than two years, took a career-best 3 for 31 with his accurate swing bowling.

Guptill and Tom Latham then made light work of the target courtesy a 126-run opening stand, a record ODI first-wicket stand for New Zealand against South Africa. The previous record of 114 had been set by Mark Greatbatch and Rod Latham – Tom’s father – in Auckland during the 1992 World Cup.

Latham made an impressive 64 off 81 balls before he was caught at deep square-leg off Imran Tahir. 

Guptill, who was dropped thrice in making his first 40 runs, went on to steer his team home in a 134-ball innings, hitting nine fours and three sixes.

But New Zealand's bowling effort wasn't only about Bracewell. Adam Milne, who returned from a heel injury that kept him out of action for four months, also impressed with the ball by striking twice in his first two overs to dismiss Hashim Amla and Morne van Wyk to put South Africa on the back foot. It was a blow the side couldn’t recover from despite  a career-best 70 by Farhaan Behardien.

Bracewell took the next two wickets in a spell of 2 for 18 in six overs, with Rilee Rossouw (39) and David Miller (5) both falling to catches when they mistimed drives on a slow pitch.

South Africa slumped to 107 for 5 in the 24th over when AB de Villiers also fell to a mistimed shot, chipping Grant Elliott to short midwicket after making 31.

The win squared the three-match series, with the decider to be played in Durban on Wednesday.

To see the full scorecard, please click here

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