Du Plessis shines in Proteas win

New Straits Times - - Sport -

Faf du Plessis made a suc­cess­ful re­view of an lbw de­ci­sion against him be­fore guid­ing South Africa to a se­ri­esclinch­ing six-wicket vic­tory in the fifth and fi­nal one-dayer against New Zealand at Eden Park yes­ter­day.

Du Plessis, who was orig­i­nally given out on 27 when he was trapped in front by Jee­tan Pa­tel but had the de­ci­sion over­turned on re­view, fin­ished unbeaten on 51 as the Proteas made 150-4 af­ter they bowled the hosts out for a pal­try 149 in 41.1 overs.

David Miller pro­duced a counter-at­tack­ing 45 not out to help the Test cap­tain en­sure a 32 se­ries vic­tory, which vaulted them back to the top of the one­day rank­ings.

New Zealand had threat­ened to make the run chase much more dif­fi­cult than it should have been, re­duc­ing the visi­tors to 88-4 when they cap­tured the im­por­tant wicket of AB de Vil­liers, who was caught be­hind by Luke Ronchi for 23.

Du Plessis and Miller, how­ever, shook off some ner­vous mo­ments with a 62-run part­ner­ship that the left-handed Miller dom­i­nated with his 45.

New Zealand were never able to set­tle against a su­perb South African bowl­ing at­tack, who cre­ated con­sis­tent pressure from both ends with nu­mer­ous dot balls that was sup­ported by strong work in the field.

Kag­iso Rabada started the rot early when he bowled Martin Gup­till for four, en­sur­ing there would be no re­peat of the right han­der’s match-win­ning 180 not out in the fourth game in Hamil­ton on Wed­nes­day.

From then on it was a con­stant stream of New Zealand bats­men head­ing back to the pavil­ion, with six fall­ing for sin­gle fig­ures.

The only re­sis­tance came from open­ing bats­man Dean Brown­lie (24) and the mid­dle order of Jimmy Nee­sham (24), Mitchell Sant­ner (24) and Colin de Grand­homme (32), who was the last man out on the first ball of the 42nd over.

Rabada, who was gen­er­at­ing good bounce off a length and trou­bled the bats­men as the ball hur­ried through, fin­ished with 325 from 7.1 overs.

The two sides now head to Dunedin for the first match of the three-Test se­ries, start­ing on Wed­nes­day 8.

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