Guptill’s ton gives New Zealand 7-wicket win over South Africa
Hamilton, March 1 (IANS) Opener Martin Guptill’s blistering unbeaten 180 off 138 deliveries helped New Zealand thrash South Africa by seven wickets at the Seddon Park here on Wednesday and set up a series-decider in the fifth and final cricket One-day International (ODI) in Auckland on Saturday.
Chasing a decent 280, Guptill dominated a third-wicket stand of 180 with Ross Taylor who made 66 off 97 deliveries, the joint second-highest for the Kiwis and highest for any wicket against the Proteas.
Guptill’s 12th ODI century came from 82 deliveries after being saved by the Decision Review System (DRS) having been given leg before to Dwaine Pretorius on 62. He finished with 11 sixes — at least three of them disappearing out of the ground — and now holds the three highest innings for New Zealand in ODIs after his 237 against the West Indies in the 2015 World Cup and 189 against England in 2013.
Guptill, who sped to his 50 off 38 deliveries and took another 44 to reach the three figures, added 72 runs for the second wicket with skipper Kane Williamson (21) as New Zealand got themselves ahead of the asking rate to get over the line with 30 balls to spare.
Earlier, after calling the toss correctly and electing to bat, the visitors rode on skipper Ab de Villiers (72 not out), Faf du Plessis (66) and Hashim Amla (40) to post a competitive 279/8 on a wicket which had some assistance for the slower bowlers as Kiwi offie Jeetan Patel bagged 2/57.
Brief Scores: South Africa 279/8 (Ab de Villiers 72 not out, Faf du Plessis 66, Hashim Amla 40, Jeetan Patel 2/57) lose to New Zealand 280/3 (Martin Guptill 180 not out, Ross Taylor 66, Kane Williamson 21, Imran Tahir 2/56) by seven wickets.