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Amla-inspired Proteas rout NZ to clinch series

Amla-inspired Proteas rout NZ to clinch series
In a see-sawing match, the Proteas initially blunted the Black Caps attack then endured a late batting collapse that restricted them to 282-9 before skittling the home team for 210 with 21 balls to spare. The win gives the tourists an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series and AB de Villiers’ men could snatch the world number one ODI ranking from Australia if they complete a 3-0 whitewash in Hamilton on Monday.

Amla rode his luck before finishing with 119 off 135 balls after South Africa lost the toss and were put in to bat, with Faf du Plessis contributing 67 and captain AB de Villiers 37. The Proteas then lost six wickets for 25 runs in the dying stages of the innings, including four in the last three overs.

But by then the damage was done and South Africa had a target that left New Zealand’s weakened batting line-up little chance with wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi’s 79 the highlight for the Black Caps. ‘It was a bit frustrating at the end... it turned out to be a long innings for us bowling-wise but the first 35-40 overs I can’t fault,’ de Villiers said after his attack eased up with New Zealand on the ropes and victory in sight.

The hosts’ meek batting display, which followed a similar capitulation at the same ground earlier this week, will set alarm bells ringing as New Zealand prepares to co-host the World Cup with Australia early next year. ‘It wasn’t great, there was a real lack of craft again with the bat. We showed a little bit of backbone at the end but far too little too late,’ skipper Brendon McCullum said.

BRIEFSCORES SA 282 for 9 (Amla 119, Anderson 2-30) beat NZL (Ronchi 79, Philander 2-27, de Villiers 2-28) by 72 runs.
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