A clinical all round display from batsmen and bowlers saw South Africa to a resounding 33-run victory over New Zealand in the third and deciding T20 International at Axxess Park St.George’s on Wednesday.
Opener Henry Davids top scored with 68 from 51 balls as the Proteas posted a formidable 179-6 after winning the toss and batting first while the tourists subsided to a disappointing 146-9 in reply.
Left arm spinner Aaron Phangiso and seamer Ryan McLaren collected identical figures of 4-25 although there can be little doubt that Phangiso’s trio of scalps – including Sunday’s centurion Martin Guptill and skipper Brendon McCullum – did the Black Caps the greater damage.
South Africa were briefly in trouble at 26-2 after winning the toss and batting first but Davids was joined by fellow Bolander Justin Ontong who belted 48 from just 30 balls with three sixes and four during a third wicket stand of 89 which laid the platform for a dynamic end to the innings.
David Miller was again in outstanding touch striking four boundaries in 28runs from just 15 balls and Farhaan Behardien finished with an unbeaten 22 from just 11 deliveries.
Guptill (24) and McCullum (25) briefly threatened to make a game of it but the run rate proved unmanageable and wickets fell steadily with the result in little doubt from the 10th over when the Black Caps slumped to 60-4.
Several members of the Proteas’ revamped T20 squad have good reason to feel pleased with their progress, not the least of who is 32-year-old Davids who made scores of 20, 55 and 68 in his first three appearances for his country. McLaren, too, was consistent in all three games and Faf du Plessis looked assured as both a batsman and captain at every stage during the series.
The Black Caps now play a three-day match against Boland in Paarl starting on Friday as preparation for the first of two Tests starting at Newlands on January 2.