WELLINGTON: Milestone innings from Quinton de Kock and A.B. de Villiers and superb bowling from Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius lifted South Africa to a 159-run win over New Zealand in the third one-day cricket international on Saturday and a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
De Kock scored 68 to tie Jonty Rhodes' record of five half centuries in consecutive innings for South Africa and A.B. de Villiers made 85, surpassing 9,000 runs in ODIs as he steered South Africa to 271-8 as it batted first after winning the toss.
Pretorius then took 3-5 from 5.2 overs and Phehlukwayo 2-12 from four as South Africa bowled out New Zealand for only 112 in 32.2 overs, returning to winning form after their six-run loss in the second match on Thursday ended their record winning streak in ODIs at 12.
After Wayne Parnell and Kagiso Rabada cheaply dismissed the New Zealand openers Tom Latham (0) and Dean Brownlie (2), leaving New Zealand 2-11, Phehlukwayo and Pretorius took apart the Kiwi middle order, leaving it 58-6 and ensuring South Africa's comfortable victory.
The pair first stalled the New Zealand run flow with impeccable line and length, then rattled through the New Zealand innings with outstanding variations of bounce, pace and with pronounced seam movement.
Phehlukwayo dismissed Kane Williamson for 23, pouncing when the New Zealand captain tried to run a tight delivery from the medium pacer to third man and succeeded only in chopping on.
Pretorius then removed Ross Taylor for 18 to leave New Zealand 48-4 and without its two best-performed batsmen.
Phehlukwayo then removed Broom for a duck and Mitchell Santner for 1 as the New Zealand innings steadily unraveled.
Pretorius dismissed Trent Boult (4) to end the innings with almost 18 overs remaining, fittingly to a catch by de Villiers. The South African captain said it had been vital for the Proteas to bounce back quickly from their loss in Christchurch and he was delighted with their allround effort.
"It was a great team performance," de Villiers said. "It was exactly what we asked for and emphasized before the game.
"I put a lot of emphasis on us playing as a team today. I didn't feel a lot of that kind of presence in the last game so I really asked for that today and the guys delivered. I'm not sure how we got to 270 but we did and then we produced a great bowling performance."
De Kock's 12th half century in ODIs laid the foundation for the Proteas' total but his wicket fell during a brief slump in South Africa's middle order and de Villiers had to lead a rally with his 51st half century in one-day internationals.
On reaching five, de Villiers became the 17th batsman to surpass 9,000 runs in 50-overs internationals and the fastest, in 205 innings. He also did so with a strike rate of 100 and an average of 54 which far outstrips any other player on the list: the nearest in terms of average is M.S. Dhoni at 50.96 and in terms of strike rate, Adam Gilchrist at 96.9.
De Villiers put on 84 for the seventh wicket with Parnell to ensure that after a faltering effort by the middle order, which cost the Proteas a score in excess of 300, they were still able to post a challenging total.
South Africa had been well on the way to 300 with de Kock at the wicket and the total at 115-3 after 22 overs. But medium pacer Colin de Grandhomme struck twice in that over, removing de Kock and Faf du Plessis (36) to force South Africa to rebuild.
De Grandhomme took 2-40 and Santner 1-45 from 10 over spells which curtailed South Africa's scoring.
New Zealand began its innings with some confidence of chasing down South Africa's total but its effort quickly faltered after the early losses of Latham and Brownlie.
Bogged down due to South Africa's tight bowling line, New Zealand lost wickets quickly and the innate frailty of its batting order — heavy with allrounders — was exposed.
Williamson said New Zealand had to quickly set aside the loss, accept that one-day cricket is a "fickle" game and produce a better performance in the fourth match of the series in Hamilton.
"We thought with the ball we did an okay job," Williamson said. "I suppose going into that second innings, we needed to weather the storm a little bit.
"They got a lot of movement out of the surface which we weren't able to do and they bowled superbly so it was a tough day at the office for us."