New Zealand v South Africa, 5th ODI, Auckland March 4, 2017

Neesham's six on fire, and Patel's bunny

Plays of the day from the deciding ODI between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park

Kane Williamson made sure Jeetan Patel had Quinton de Kock twice in two games © Getty Images

The riposte of the day
Auckland wanted a repeat of Martin Guptill's display three days ago. South Africa had other ideas. They kept him quiet, the extra pace in the surface giving the new-ball quicks something to work with. A few days ago, Kagiso Rabada said he didn't really see himself as the leader of South Africa's one-day attack, but he'll be hearing a lot more about it over his career. After a bouncer ripped over Guptill's head, the follow-up was a yorker which the batsman tried to play from outside leg stump. It didn't work.

The cheer
It's an understatement to say Luke Ronchi has had a lean run in one-day cricket. His career-best 170 against Sri Lanka before the 2015 World Cup was the last time he passed fifty. But he has been given another chance this season and replaced Tom Latham in Hamilton. He only needed to watch Guptill finish things off there, but walked in under intense pressure this time. It wasn't pretty viewing and when he finally found a run off his 15th ball there were loud cheers around the ground. He did not add many more.

The smokin' shot
There weren't many notes of aggression from New Zealand, but James Neesham did manage a sweetly struck six - or chip as it is at Eden Park - straight down the ground off Dwaine Pretorius. They almost needed a new ball. Not because it was lost, but because it flew through the flames which shoot above the sightscreens whenever boundaries are hit. The ball was retrieved (no evidence of oven-mitts being needed) and inspected by the umpire who found no singeing.

The bunny
Quinton de Kock was reeling off the half-centuries earlier in this series, continuing his form from the South African season, but that has come to abrupt halt since Jeetan Patel's recall in Hamilton. There it took Patel just one ball to remove de Kock and in Auckland it was the first ball of his second over. De Kock, as usual, was keen to dominate; he lofted drive and Kane Williamson took an excellent catch tracking back from mid-off.

The review
New Zealand had a glimmer after claiming three top-order wickets. Patel had two of them after luring JP Duminy into a loose drive. Then he thought he had a third, which would have left South Africa 60 for 4, but the second the umpire Chris Brown gave Faf du Plessis lbw, AB de Villiers was telling him to review. The captain was spot on. The ball turned too much and slid down the leg side.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Brokensaint on March 4, 2017, 20:20 GMT

    Yeah de kock lost his wicket twice failed to see how that is a worthy of the bunny label. sensationalist piece of journalism

  • Yasein on March 4, 2017, 19:38 GMT

    @CRICFAN4668340314 Yup and so did Munro. None of them should be in the side

  • muntas4920248 on March 4, 2017, 7:32 GMT

    Ronchi,brownli got engouh chance. But they did not do any thing.Colin Munro should be in odi squad

  • Michael on March 4, 2017, 7:25 GMT

    Two dismissals don't make one a rabbit....

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