Henry Davids of South Africa and Brendon McCullum of New
Zealand in action during the sides' third T20 match in Port
Elizabeth, South Africa. (Photo by Richard Huggard / Gallo
New Zealand needed another hero to propel them to victory
over South Africa in the deciding Twenty20 cricket
international but no one stepped up as they slipped to a 33-run
defeat in Port Elizabeth this morning.
South Africa claimed the series 2-1 after posting 179 for six
in their 20 overs and New Zealand fell well short, finishing
They needed another innings like the one from Martin Guptill,
who smacked 101 not out in the second T20 match, but instead
failed to establish any momentum to the innings as wickets
fell at regular intervals.
Captain Brendon McCullum (25 off 22) shared an encouraging
second-wicket partnership of 47 with Guptill (24 off 20)
after the early loss of Rob Nicol but things fell apart once
the pair departed.
James Franklin (16), James Neesham (12), Nathan McCullum (17)
and Corey Anderson (12) all got starts but no one could kick
on. The Black Caps were never really in the hunt as the home
side squeezed the life out of the visitors.
Earlier, South Africa had got off to a slow start as the
impressive Mitchell McClenaghan (2-24) and Ronnie Hira (1-24)
bowled tightly but Henry Davids (68 off 51) and Justin Ontong
(48 off 30) wrested the initiative and some big hitting from
David Miller (28 off 12) and Farhaan Behardien (22 off 11)
ensured they posted an imposing target.
"It's disappointing because we came into this match with high
hopes," McCullum said.
"We obviously built up some good momentum after the East
London game. For a fair amount of the game I thought we
competed well but I guess some of those bigger moments South
Africa grabbed and we were found wanting at times. In the
end, the right team won the series."
There were at least some encouraging signs after the debacle
in Durban, when New Zealand were rolled for just 86 in the
first match. They came back and snatched a dramatic victory
in the second match, thanks to Guptill, and were competitive
in the third.
Attention now switches to the two-test series starting in
Cape Town on January 2. New Zealand have a three-day warm-up
match against a South African XI in Paarl starting on Friday