Able Williamson kanes Proteas
Kane Williamson’s wonderful unbeaten century helped New Zealand claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in their one-day series with South Africa thanks to a 27-run victory at Kimberley.
Williamson, battling cramp late in his innings to make his best international score, plundered 17 fours and a six in 145 not out from 136 balls and carried the Black Caps to 279 for eight.
Despite a positive start from the Proteas, who were without suspended skipper AB de Villiers, poor running cost them dear and they slipped from 165 for one at the end of the 30th over to 252 all out - in part due to five run-outs.
It meant the tourists had bounced back superbly from two innings-defeats in the Test rubber to gain an unexpected series victory, their first in South Africa in any format, ahead of Friday’s finale at Potchefstroom.
Key to today’s success was an excellent effort from Williamson, who put on 127 with Grant Elliott for the third wicket after New Zealand lost the toss.
South Africa’s decision to field first seemed an astute move when Martin Guptill could only fend a Rory Kleinveldt bouncer to stand-in captain Francois du Plessis at point in the third over.
BJ Watling became Morne Morkel's 100th ODI wicket in the 13th over, trapped in front for a painstaking 12 off 33 balls.
Williamson, however, settled into his stride in the next over, cracking Ryan McLaren for three fours through the off side, and he brought up his half-century by hammering Robin Peterson over midwicket for four.
The number three batsman and Elliott, who was happy to rotate the strike and let his partner dominate the bowlers, were warming to their task but the latter fell for 48 in guiding another short Kleinveldt ball behind.
Williamson brought up his third ODI hundred with a single to point in the 35th over before New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum hammered a four and a six off Morkel.
However, the same bowler yorked McCullum before Lonwabo Tsotsobe removed Colin Munro and James Franklin in the space of three balls.
Jimmy Neesham was run out attempting a quick single but Williamson kept the total ticking along nicely, despite suffering from cramp. He and Kyle Mills took 19 off the final over, bowled by Morkel, who returned 3-71 from his 10.
South Africa initially struggled to find the boundary before Quinton de Kock smeared Mitchell McClenaghan over midwicket in the sixth over.
The 20-year-old, playing just his second ODI, showed no signs of hesitancy and looked to keep the runs flowing but was bowled for 25 by Mills.
Former ODI captain Graeme Smith and Colin Ingram kept up the momentum, the former bringing up a fifty by swinging Elliott past short fine-leg for four.
Ingram also went to a half-century with a four off McClenaghan but the stand was ended on 129 when Smith was run out for 66 following an excellent piece of boundary fielding by Franklin.
The Black Caps stayed alert and they were rewarded in the next over when du Plessis was short of his ground after being sent back.
Ingram fell in tame fashion, caught off Nathan McCullum at short cover to depart for 79 as the pressure started to tell.
Farhaan Behardien, playing in place of Hashim Amla who suffered a leg injury in the warm-up, and David Miller attempted to rebuild but, as the run-rate crept ever higher, the latter was run out by Nathan McCullum backing up.
The wickets continued to tumble as South Africa’s charge ran out of steam and their hopes of levelling the series were long gone before Neesham bowled last man Tsotsobe with the first ball of the 50th over.