Morkel and Amla underpin Proteas win
Morne Morkel and Hashim Amla inspired South Africa to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match one-day international series against New Zealand courtesy of a six-wicket victory in Napier.
At 163 for two after 32 overs with number three Brendon McCullum, who made 85 from 96 balls, going well, New Zealand were ideally placed to make a competitive total.
But Morkel, on a hat-trick twice, produced a devastating spell to remove the lower order, claiming 5-38 from 9.3 overs, and dismiss the Black Caps for a below-par 230 with 15 balls unused.
Amla then set up the chase superbly, hitting 12 boundaries in a 107-ball 92, before contributions from Francois du Plessis, JP Duminy and captain AB de Villiers, who made an unbeaten 31, helped the Proteas chase down their victory target inside 39 overs.
After losing the toss, New Zealand were soon in trouble when Rob Nicol was trapped in front by Lonwabo Tsotsobe for 11. However, the hosts recovered quickly, with an impressive second-wicket stand of 107 between the prolific Martin Guptill and McCullum.
Guptill hit eight fours in his patient 58 before nicking Jacques Kallis behind to de Villiers, after which Tsotsobe struck in successive overs to leave the Kiwis on 175 for four.
The left-arm seamer removed Kane Williamson, Kallis taking a fine catch at mid-on, and the dangerous McCullum picked out Justin Ontong at deep square-leg.
Jesse Ryder edged Dale Steyn behind in the next set of six, before Morkel got to work, taking the wickets of James Franklin and Kyle Mills in successive deliveries as New Zealand slumped to 184 for seven.
Tim Southee provided a little resistance with a 27-ball 28, including two fours and two maximums, but Morkel removed him and drew Tarun Nethula's edge in consecutive deliveries.
Morkel wrapped up the innings - and a first ODI five-wicket haul - courtesy of Andrew Ellis mis-timing a slower ball to Steyn at long-on for 19.
Amla and du Plessis overcame the early loss of Kallis, caught behind by McCullum off Mills, with a second-wicket partnership of 69.
The former Lancashire right-hander’s explosive innings of 34 from 25 balls came to an end when a back-tracking Guptill, on the deep square-leg boundary, claimed the catch after throwing the ball back into play just before he stepped over the ropes.
Amla reached his half-century from 51 balls and was accompanied by Duminy, who compiled 43 from 29 balls, including six fours before becoming Nethula’s first scalp after providing a return catch.
With just 39 runs required, Amla, closing in on a century, edged behind a flighted Nethula delivery, with de Villiers and Ontong, who made an unbeaten 17, seeing South Africa home.