A massive, blistering innings on a comeback trail from Martin Guptill had effaced some records from the history. His ballistic 180 off 138 balls has helped New Zealand level the series 2-2 with South Africa. With the defeat, Proteas have to concede no.1 ODI ranking to Australia. On the other hand, Guptill has become the highest ever by a New Zealand player in the second innings and the fourth highest of all time, behind Shane Watson (185), MS Dhoni (183) and Virat Kohli (183).
South Africa had set a total of 280 for New Zealand to chase. Their score of 279/8 after 50 overs, was largely powered by what turned out to be a team performance from the Proteas anchored first by Faf Du Plessis (67) and then by AB de Villiers (72 n.o). De Villiers had also set a 63-run-partnership with Wayne Parnell that seemed to have brought the momentum to South Africa. It was a good innings on a pitch that wasn’t very batsman-friendly and it looked like de Villiers may have taken South Africa halfway through to a series win.
But that was until Martin Guptill took the field. He chiefly shared three major partnerships, a 72-run second wicket stand with skipper Kane Williamson, a 180-run third wicket stand with Ross Taylor and a conclusive 23-run-stand with Luke Ronchi. Guptill was the dominant batsman in all three and it was the third wicket stand that really did it for the Kiwis. Taylor, himself making a comeback of sorts to the national setup after a long layoff due to injuries and poor form, played the perfect second fiddle as Guptill mauled the Proteas bowling attack on the other end. After the former’s wicket fell, Guptill took it upon himself to win the match and was almost savage in the way he finished the chase in Imran Tahir’s over with seven wickets and five overs to spare.
South Africa have won the first and third ODI while New Zealand have won the second and fourth. The final match will be played at Eden Park.