South Africans secure a thrilling T20 series win
South Africa clinched their Twenty20 international series against New Zealand after Marchant de Lange claimed two wickets in an eventful last over to seal a thrilling three-run victory in the third and final match in Auckland yesterday.
Having restricted South Africa to a modest 165 for seven at Eden Park, New Zealand cruised to 65 without loss inside six overs but a middle order collapse eventually left them needing seven runs off the last over with five wickets in hand.
Playing in his second Twenty20 international, 21-year-old de Lang conceded a single off the first delivery of the over but removed Nathan McCullum and Doug Bracewell for ducks with the third and fifth deliveries. Needing six off the last delivery, New Zealand were handed a break as de Lange delivered a front-foot no-ball, which James Franklin scored a single off.
A four off the last ball would have sealed victory for the hosts but Tim Southee could not even make contact with the free-hit delivery which de Lang fired past his off-stump. For New Zealand, Jesse Ryder top scored with 52 but Rob Nicol was the top performer, claiming two wickets, taking as many catches and assisting in a crucial run out before returning to hit a brisk 33.
Earlier, put into bat, South Africa found it tough against the Black Caps’ disciplined bowlers and relied on cameos from JP Duminy (38), Hashim Amla (33) and skipper AB de Villiers (29).
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