New Zealand beat South Africa by six runs in second ODI

Christchurch, Feb 22 (IANS) New Zealand defeated South Africa by six in the second One-Day International (ODI) at the Hagley Oval here on Wednesday.

New Zealand’s veteran batsman Ross Taylor got to a record 17th ODI century off the last ball of the New Zealand innings before the bowlers did the needful to stop the Proteas six runs short, according to the ICC’s official website.

Taylor scored an unbeaten 102 to help New Zealand post 289/4 after they opted to bat. South Africa came within sniffing distance, thanks to a late 26-ball half-century from Dwaine Pretorius, but eventually finished on 283/9.

Taylor had shared the New Zealand record of 16 ODI centuries with Nathan Astle, and had been in a rich vein of form since returning from eye surgery in early January.

On his way to his century, Taylor also became only the fourth New Zealander to score 6,000 ODI runs.

He received excellent support from the skipper Kane Williamson and Jimmy Neesham. Neesham scored an unbeaten 71, while Williamson notched up 69.

Chasing a competitive total, many South African batsmen — including Quinton de Kock (57) and AB de Villiers (45) — made good starts but were unable to go on and anchor the innings. As a result, South Africa looked out of the competition at 214/8, but Pretorius gave New Zealand some nervous moments, helped by mis-fields and poor bowling at the death.

The third ODI will be played in Wellington on Saturday.

–IANS

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