New Zealand v South Africa, 4th ODI, Hamilton February 28, 2017

Guptill's 180* levels series 2-2


New Zealand 280 for 3 (Guptill 180*, Taylor 66, Tahir 2-56) beat South Africa 279 for 8 (De Villiers 72*, du Plessis 67, Patel 2-57) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Highlights - Guptill seals NZ chase with 180*

Could Martin Guptill slot back into the New Zealand line-up after a month on the sidelines and make an immediate impact? The answer to that was an emphatic 'yes' as he surged to a ferocious 180 off 138 balls at Seddon Park to set up a series decider in Auckland on Saturday. His innings enabled New Zealand to chase down what had appeared a challenging target of 280 with a massive 30 balls to spare.

His 12th century in ODI cricket came from 82 deliveries after being saved by the DRS having been given lbw to Dwaine Pretorius on 62. Guptill dominated a third-wicket stand of 180 with Ross Taylor who made 66 off 97 deliveries, the joint second-highest for New Zealand and highest for any wicket against South Africa. Guptill finished with 11 sixes - at least four of them disappearing out of the ground - and now holds the three highest innings for New Zealand in ODIs after his 237 against West Indies in the World Cup and 189 against England in 2013.

South Africa will ponder their team selection and tactics with the ball. The fact that the pitch would aid the spinners, and likely grip for the seamers, had been telegraphed a long way out. Yet they opted not to play a second frontline spinner in Tabraiz Shamsi while JP Duminy's three overs cost 26 although AB de Villiers later defended the selection. They also did not bowl the amount of cutters and slower balls that New Zealand did mid-innings, instead the extra pace from their quartet of seamers played into New Zealand's - and Guptill's - hands.

With the bat it was a familiar pattern: a solid base (128 for 2), a middle-order collapse (4 for 30) and then a revival led by de Villiers and the lower order to take South Africa to 279. De Villiers, Chris Morris and Wayne Parnell plundered 100 from the last eight overs to seemingly swing the match in South Africa's favour. But then Guptill got to work.

He struck the ball with blistering power, belying his lack of match time, and the signs had been promising as early as the fourth over when he pulled Parnell onto the grass banks. He connected with an even bigger blow off Morris, speeding to his fifty off 38 deliveries and needing just another 44 for three figures. The ball rarely failed to make a thunderous crack off his bat.

Each time the asking rate threatened to edge much over a run-a-ball he would manage to go over or across the boundary. De Villiers didn't know how to stop him, a feeling many a bowler has felt against the South Africa captain. The nearest Guptill came to a problem, until a missed run out on 166 when the match had been won, was when he was struck on the helmet by Morris.

He overwhelmed the innings, but his partners were important. Kane Williamson helped add 72 for the second wicket as New Zealand got themselves ahead of the rate. He was also involved in, perhaps, the crucial decision of the innings. When given lbw to Imran Tahir's second ball he pondered the review but decided to walk off. Replays showed it was out. If Williamson had gambled, there would not have been one for Guptill.

Taylor then played the ideal second-fiddle, happy to ride in Guptill's slipstream, although brought his fifty up with a huge six over midwicket to match anything his partner managed.

New Zealand's selection was far more tailored to the surface with Jeetan Patel recalled, ahead of the unlucky Ish Sodhi, as a second spinner. He struck in the first over of the match when Quinton de Kock's run of five fifty-plus scores ended with his first golden duck in international cricket. There was an even more notable first, too, as a pair of spinners opened the bowling in the first innings of an ODI for the first time.

The move did not last long, though, and Hashim Amla enjoyed the extra pace of Trent Boult but New Zealand soon switched back to spin and pace-off. Patel nabbed Amla at the start of his second spell and New Zealand began to squeeze. Tim Southee and Jimmy Neesham bowled handy spells of cutters as South Africa lost 4 for 30 in 9.5 overs. JP Duminy's unconvincing series continued when he bottom-edged Southee, du Plessis chipped to midwicket after a 72-ball fifty, David Miller picked out deep midwicket while Pretorius was run out.

De Villiers was left to try and take the innings deep again. He was sitting on 27 off 37 balls, after a period of 12 boundary-less overs, when he pulled Mitchell Santner over deep midwicket to mark his late-overs kick. Both Southee and Boult came in for late punishment, but rather than providing a total to challenge New Zealand it just enabled Guptill to play one of New Zealand's finest one-day innings.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • P-C on March 2, 2017, 20:34 GMT

    Simple. Make Faf the captain. As prolific as AB is he is not a natural captain on the field.

  • lalit on March 2, 2017, 11:48 GMT

    From espncricinfo through we have requesting to ICC, that in India Cricket is a very popular game and we are not only the fan of Indian cricketer also all other teams players like SA, NZ and other teams. Its very sad that nobody interest to telecast in India, the series played in New Zealand. And also there is not telecast the Highlights too. We don't know how its work but if ICC can compulsory to telecast each and every series to every associate country who played cricket, at the time of contract and especially the country there is 125 crore people love to watch cricket. We thankful to espncricinfo that give us each and every information of cricket. A part of this match Guptill played very very well but in India We can't saw this brilliant inning.


  • David on March 2, 2017, 11:04 GMT

    @vomkrieg...agree that Southee has looked ordinary this summer (barring 1 or 2 decent spells), but the 7th ranked ODI bowler has looked awful, so I'm not sure what NZ should do. Would hardly seem fair to blood new talent against ABD, Amla etc so I don't mind that they've persevered with the experience of Southee for this series. I'm hopeful Henry returns to form, and Milne and Mitch McC return to fitness soon, but I'm also hopeful that Southee regains that spark he had 3 years ago, because back then he was a real asset.

  • Jay on March 2, 2017, 9:50 GMT

    @OUTSIDE-OFF " Wasn't ABD 'effectively' retired from ODI cricket" No idea. I don't follow SA cricket. I follow NZ cricket though and read nearly every news story, which is why I remember 2014 and Ryder opting out of the NZ A tour, and NZ cricket saying they were done with him. I also remember reading articles about Ryder spending time with the team, but Hesson shutting down any possible rumour that he had a chance to come back. If NZ management changes though, then perhaps.

    @SAMEOLD 7 games, 7 wickets at 55.71 average with the ball counts as a bad run in my book. 26 wickets in 24 games at 50.38 if you go back to the game after his amazing 7/33 against England.

    In the same 7 games Boult has taken 16 wickets at about 22. Boult has looked great, Southee has looked ordinary. I get that people have this Southee/Boult thing in their minds, but they are actually two different people and not a set.

    I think giving the 7th ranked ODI bowler in the world a go seems like a good plan.

  • iwhite0555325 on March 2, 2017, 7:54 GMT

    SA's batting failed except AB but guess who every seems to be picking on. Duminy and Miller are both not contributing and both deserves to be dropped but only Duminy must be dropped according to people that want to blame quotas for every loss. Both Parnell and Morris really did not bowl that well and Andile should have played but only Parnell should be dropped according to people. Just shows how far our mind sets have moved on. Yes you can try and blame quotas for a lot of SA's ills especially our rugby team but with people's mind sets as it is Rabada, Ntini, Gibbs and Andile(don't know his surname too well) to name a few would probably have never played or gotten the opportunity if not for this horrible quota system. Just be honest and stop this nonsense on blaming quotas. Yes it is a shame that talent like Abbott and others are being lost but the price payed by many players of color not getting the opportunity far outweighs the price a few has to pay now but let the past stay right!!

  • Michael on March 2, 2017, 5:36 GMT

    I wonder what guppys price would be if ipl auction was today!

  • A.J on March 2, 2017, 4:22 GMT

    Boult ODI Ranking 2

    Henry ODi Ranking 7

    Southee - Ranking 28

    - Averages 33.36 - 30% of all innings goes COMPLETELY wicketless - Has only 2 five wicket hauls in ten years, yes, that's 1 every five years - In that last 2 years - Averages 54 and has an econ of 6.01

    Please do tell me about that amazing ball he bowled that one time or the things stats' don't tell you, because you know what stat's do tell?

    Whether you're a good enough bowler to take wickets and clearly he aint

  • Beau on March 2, 2017, 4:16 GMT

    @VOMKRIEG: Southee is not in any kind of 'bad run'. He and boult are back to somewhere near their best and have been contributing to NZ wins all summer. Being taken for runs by ABDV is hardly grounds for dropping.

  • David on March 2, 2017, 3:47 GMT

    @ CLEAN GAME, Guptill is a superb white ball cricketer, if only he could transfer that kind of form to red ball, he will be in the discussion as one of the best batsmen in the game today!

  • avinash on March 2, 2017, 3:31 GMT

    SA will never be the best team like Australia, if they follow the quota system, the deserved one's will leave to england with kolpak deal.

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