Mount Maunganui, New Zealand: Hashim Amla smashed his fourth one-day century of the year as South Africa put its World Cup credentials on display Friday, beating New Zealand by 72 runs in the second one-day cricket international to take a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Amla scored 119 — his 16th one-day international century — to lead South Africa to 282-9 after losing the toss. South Africa’s potent pace attack then wrecked New Zealand’s top order, leaving the hosts reeling on 5-69 by the 20th over before eventually bowling the side for 210 in 46.3 overs.
Captain A.B. de Villiers estimated the Proteas played at 65 percent of their potential in winning the first match Tuesday by six wickets and demanded improvement. His batsmen and bowlers delivered it Friday.
“Again the batting let us down,” McCullum said. “I thought the bowling was OK.
“We did OK to restrict them to 280 when they were looking at somewhere around 310 or 320. It was a pretty good effort with the ball but, again, too many soft dismissals and a lack of real craft with the bat.”
New Zealand wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi scored 79 and added 76 for the final wicket with Mitchell McClenaghan (34 not out). New Zealand’s ninth wicket fell at 134 in the 33rd over but Ronchi’s defiance forced South Africa to toil a further 13 overs for the win.
“It’s difficult in these kinds of conditions,” de Villiers said. “The wind was howling out there and I think the boys stiffened up nicely toward the end. Luckily we had the victory in the bag by then.”
Amla faced 135 balls and hit 15 boundaries, linking the South African innings in partnerships of 56 for the first wicket with Quintin de Kock (26), 113 for the second with Faf du Plessis (67) and 66 for the third with de Villiers (37).
Du Plessis came to the crease at 56-1 and shared a partnership with Amla which spanned 21 overs and guaranteed South Africa a formidable score.
De Villiers then dashed 37 from 25 balls with five fours and a six to boost South Africa’s scoring rate and further increase its dominance of a New Zealand attack which used seven bowlers.
“When Hashim bats like that it sets up the whole lineup to be aggressive and that’s exactly what we did around him,” de Villiers said. “He paced his innings amazingly well.”
The match produced its only downside for the Proteas when they lost eight wickets for 49 runs in the last eight overs, including four wickets within nine balls at the death. Poised to reach 300, they briefly lost their way and let New Zealand back into the match.
Trent Boult and Corey Anderson both claimed wickets with consecutive balls — Anderson in a double-wicket maiden to end the innings — as New Zealand mounted a small fight back.
Mitchell McClenaghan also took two wickets to reach 50 wickets in one-day internationals in his 23rd match — the third-fastest to that milestone after Ajantha Mendis and Ajit Agarkar.
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill played out 11 dot balls before driving a half volley from Vernon Philander to Rilee Rossouw at cover.
James Neesham proved the failure of the experiment of playing as opener when he was bowled by Morne Morkel for 10 after making 16 in the opening match.
Dean Brownlie was bowled by a straight delivery from Dale Steyn for 20 and Tom Latham gave de Villiers his maiden one-day wicket when he pulled a long hop directly to Amla at short fine leg.
Corey Anderson made a golden duck in the opening match and only 1 on Friday before being caught by David Miller off Steyn. Brendon McCullum used the Decision Review System to overturn one lbw decision but failed at his second attempt and was trapped in front by Imran Tahir for 12. Tahir’s wrong-un also accounted for Tim Southee who was bowled for 6.