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Guptill marathon powers New Zealand to series levelling victory

Martin Guptill scored an unbeaten 180 off 138 deliveries
Martin Guptill scored an unbeaten 180 off 138 deliveries

New Zealand 280-3 (Guptill 180no) beat
South Africa 279-8 (de Villiers 72no) by seven wickets
Fourth One-Day International in Hamilton

Martin Guptill made a stunning comeback with an unbeaten 180-run knock as New Zealand completed a chase of 280 runs with seven wickets in hand in 45 overs against South Africa to win the fourth One-Day International in Hamilton and level the series 2-2.

South Africa decided to bat first on winning the toss. Quinton de Kock (0) had a rare failure as he was caught behind in the first over bowled by Jeetan Patel (2-57). It was also his first duck in his international career.

Hashim Amla (40) and Faf du Plessis (67) consolidated the innings and brought their 50-run stand off 54 deliveries as the Proteas ended the first powerplay at 51 for one.

Patel returned back into the attack to end the 65-run stand by castling Amla and in the 17th over, du Plessis survived a review for caught behind. JP Duminy (25) had a reprieve when he was put down in the 20th over by Guptill off Mitchell Santner (1-40).

Du Plessis reached his fifty off 72 deliveries but South Africa lost Duminy at the other end, castled by Tim Southee (1-70).

The wicket of Duminy opened the floodgates for the Proteas, who also saw du Plessis and David Miller (1) dismissed in successive overs bowled by James Neesham (1-15) and Santner respectively.

Just when wickets were tumbling around, AB de Villiers (72 not out) played a solid knock to keep the innings going. The South African captain was aided by Chris Morris (28) as the duo brought their 50-run stand and soon completed a run-a-ball fifty as well.

The last three overs of the innings yielded 47 runs with de Villiers and Wayne Parnell (29 not out) helping South Africa for a strong finish at 279 for eight in their 50 overs.

In the chase, Dean Brownlie (4) fell early, when he edged a Kagiso Rabada (1-41) delivery behind the stumps but Guptill (180 not out) smashed five boundaries and two sixes to take the score to 57 for one in the first powerplay.

With boundaries continuing, Guptill raced to a swift 38-ball fifty and his 72-run stand with Kane Williamson (21) laid the foundation to the innings before the latter was trapped LBW by Imran Tahir (2-56).

Ross Taylor (66) took a lot of time in his innings to get going but with Guptill continuing to be in attacking mode at the other end, the required run rate was under control for the Black Caps.

The 50-run stand between Guptill and Taylor came off 62 deliveries following which the former completed a 82-ball century.

Taylor reached his fifty off 83 balls and the 100-run stand came between the two off 118 deliveries leaving New Zealand 46 runs to get off 60 deliveries.

Even though, New Zealand lost Taylor, Guptill ensured he saw the innings through in 45 overs with a tremendous knock and levelled the series for the hosts. He was also awarded the man of the match for his marathon innings.

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