23 Feb 2012

Proteas steal final T20 and the series at Eden Park

12:50 am on 23 February 2012

The South African cricketers have beaten New Zealand by three runs in the final Twenty20 match at Eden Park to take the three-match series 2-1.

The Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum won the toss and sent the Proteas in to bat. The tourists' dangerman Richard Levi went for just 11 and regular wickets meant their total of 165 for seven looked sub-par.

But New Zealand openers Rob Nicol and Martin Guptill fell for 33 and 26 respectively - Guptill's lowest score in his last eight internationals. And McCullum's 18 didn't help.

Still it was within the hosts' grasp and the recalled Jesse Ryder looked set to guide his side home. But Ryder was caught for 52 and the Black Caps suddenly needed eight runs off the last seven balls.

Two more wickets fell in the final over and while death bowler Marchant de Lange then handed the New Zealanders a lifeline with a no ball on the final ball, Tim Southee couldn't connect for the four runs needed and South Africa won the match and the series.

The English women beat the White Ferns by 10 runs under the Duckworth Lewis system in the curtain-raiser to take an unbeatable three-match lead in their T-20 series.