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De Villiers, Behardien seal series win for South Africa

Wiese grabs three wickets as New Zealand loses third and final ODI by 62 runs in pursuit of 284

De Villiers, Behardien seal series win for South Africa - Cricket News
South Africa celebrate a wicket.
South Africa won the three-match One-Day International series against New Zealand 2-1, after securing an 62-run victory at Kingsmead in Durban on Wednesday (August 26). New Zealand, chasing a target of 284, was bowled out for 221, with David Wiese returning 3 for 58.

AB de Villiers, after winning the toss, opted to bat and hit a rapid 48-ball 64. That, along with Morne van Wyk’s half-century and Farhaan Behardien’s late fireworks lifted South Africa to a competitive 283 for 7. New Zealand’s chase was largely propelled by the 84-run second-wicket stand between Kane Williamson and Tom Latham, after which South Africa chipped away to seal an easy victory.

Dale Steyn gave South Africa the all-important wicket of Martin Guptill to dent New Zealand’s chase before it had gained momentum. Guptill, whose unbeaten 103 helped New Zealand win by eight wickets in the second ODI, was out for just 10 runs as Steyn induced an outside edge with a full delivery.

However, Latham and Williamson remained unperturbed and went about building the innings. While they didn’t quite swing their bats at every delivery, there were boundaries in nearly every over, and the scoreboard was ticking along at a healthy rate. Williamson was handed a reprieve when the usually safe David Miller fluffed a straightforward catch at midwicket when he was on 24. He was handed another let off when he was on 37, Kagiso Rabada at fault this time.

But in the very next over, Imran Tahir sent one down that went through Williamson's defence, and South Africa had the breakthrough. Latham carried on to complete his half-century, but was dismissed soon after, run out when attempting a second run. At 114 for 3, New Zealand was well in it, but the quick wickets didn't help its cause.

George Worker and Grant Elliott attempted to accelerate the scoring, picking runs off Kyle Abbott and Wiese. However, the enterprise didn’t last long as Worker (21) had his stumps disturbed by Wiese. Elliott was then dropped on 18 by Hashim Amla at slips, but it didn’t prove costly as he holed out in the very next over off Wiese again, having scored 20.

Luke Ronchi then managed to add just the one run before falling to Rabada. Doug Bracewell and Colin Munro tried to delay the seemingly inevitable South Africa victory, putting on 31 before Bracewell paid the price for being adventurous.

Munro continued ploughing away for a while, but was dismissed excellent Wiese for a 44-ball 35. New Zealand was bowled out with four balls to spare, and the series was all wrapped up.

Earlier, South Africa’s innings was powered by its captain, who made batting look easy on a testing track.

De Villiers hurried to a half-century off 38 balls, but the landmark moment came when he was on 19 – he reached 8000 runs in ODIs in his 182nd innings, becoming the fastest to the milestone. The previous record was held by Sourav Ganguly, who took 200 innings.

After a poor batting performance in the second match in Potchefstroom, where it was bowled out for 204, South Africa fulfilled its objective of making a solid start as van Wyk (58) and Amla (44) put on 89 for the first wicket.

The boundaries came with ease and they were well on top when New Zealand had the breakthrough out of nowhere, Elliott inducing a leading edge off Amla that he safely held on to. Rilee Rossouw then managed to score just six runs before Ben Wheeler had him caught at slips.

De Villiers came in to partner van Wyk, and the two steadied things with a 38-run stand for the third wicket. Van Wyk then attempted to pull Elliott and ended up nicking it to the slip cordon.

However, in came Miller (36) and de Villiers had the perfect foil. The scoreboard rocketed, as they put on 86 off 65 balls for the fourth wicket, Miller holding fort while de Villiers typically swung his bat around. Eventually, a slower delivery from Bracewell squeezed through de Villiers to clip the off-stump, but the knock had given the innings impetus.  

Behardien, who grinded his way to 70 in Potchefstroom, was all blitz and power this time around. He blasted a 28-ball 40, comprising six fours and a six, to give South Africa a much-needed cushion.

It eventually proved the difference.

To see the full scorecard, please click here.

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