New Zealand 169-2 (Guptill 101no) beat
South Africa 165-5 (du Plessis 63) by 8 wickets (D/L)
Second Twenty20 International, East London
Martin Guptill was New Zealand’s batting star as they unexpectedly levelled the Twenty20 series in South Africa. As Eoin Morgan had for England yesterday, Guptill hit the final to the boundary to end on 101 not out and give his side a morale-boosting win ahead of the decider on Boxing Day.
South Africa had posted a respectable 165 for five after being asked to bat as Henry Davids and Faf du Plessis hit half-centuries either side of an hour long interruption caused by a faulty floodlight tower.
The hosts gave a debut to Aaron Phangiso but again lost Richard Levi early, only for Davids and du Plessis to dominate the New Zealand attack. Davids did the bulk of the scoring during a second-wicket stand of 68 with his captain and hit 55 off 38 balls. Du Plessis then took over the scoring baton and improvised spectacularly - he played a reverse ramp shot over third man off Doug Bracewell at one point - on his way to 63 off 43 balls.
David Miller also chipped in with 33 off 18 balls, which gave the hosts an impressive total and one that was raised by three via the Duckworth Lewis method because of the over lost due to the faulty floodlights.
It was then over to Guptill, who absolutely dominated the New Zealand run chase. He scored his maiden century in the format, with the next highest score being fellow opener Rob Nicol’s 24-ball 25. Guptill blasted six sixes and nine fours during his 69-ball knock - one which would ultimately give the Black Caps a thrilling win.
After the match, New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum paid tribute to the way that Guptill had recovered from illness just two days ago to play one of the best Twenty20 innings of recent time.
"It is great that the team turned around in 48 hours and a great knock by Martin after being sick a couple of days back,” he said. “Our bowlers did well to stop South Africa’s batting line-up, but no one expected Martin to play that innings after being sick. Rob Nicol played well at the top too. I was under a bit of pressure, but hopefully this result will help us leapfrog further.”
© Cricket World 2012
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