Graeme Smith of South Africa celebrates reaching 100
against New Zealand in the third one-day international at
Senwes Park in Potchefstroom. Photos Getty Images
A six from Ryan McLaren off the final delivery and a
rapid 116 by Graeme Smith helped South Africa to a thrilling
one-wicket victory over New Zealand in the third one-day
The Proteas, who came into the game having already lost the
three-match series 2-0, had been set a target of 261 after
half-centuries from Grant Elliott (54), Colin Munro (57) and
James Franklin (53 not out) had steered New Zealand to 260
for nine in their 50 overs.
Man-of-the-match Smith's knock seemed to have put the home
side on course for victory but a lower-order collapse meant
they required three off the final delivery with just one
wicket in hand.
However, a six over fine leg from all-rounder McLaren (25 not
out) gave South Africa their first victory of the series and
ensured they avoided a whitewash.
New Zealand had already claimed their first ODI series on
South African soil but still went wholeheartedly for the
final victory as they won the toss and elected to bat.
They made a slow start as a fine opening spell from left-arm
seamer Lonwabo Tsotsobe (10-2-45-4) helped restrict them to
68 for four in the 22nd over.
The half-centuries from Elliott and Munro saw the Black Caps
put on successive fifty partnerships and by the time both men
had been dismissed, the visitors had recovered to 196 for six
after 43 overs.
Despite a late flurry of wickets, Franklin came in and played
with freedom. His undefeated innings was rounded off in style
as he reached his fourth ODI fifty with a six in the final
over from Rory Kleinveldt.
The South African reply made a brisk start as the left-handed
opening duo of Smith and Quinton de Kock (31) took the score
to 54 without loss after the first powerplay.
Franklin (6-0-38-2) made the breakthrough in the 16th over
when he bowled de Kock but at 83 for one, the openers had
laid a good platform for the home side.
Smith looked undeterred by the loss of his partner and later
reached the fifty-mark in the 20th over.
He and Colin Ingram (25) then took the score to 122 by the
end of the 26th over and it prompted the pair to take the
The decision merely succeeded in yielding instant dividends
for New Zealand though as Nathan McCullum (10-1-35-1) had
Ingram caught at mid-wicket with the next delivery.
South Africa then showed signs of stuttering as the
dismissals of captain Faf du Plessis (19) and Farhaan
Behardien (4) reduced them to 174 for four.
Smith was not to be denied though and brought up his 10th ODI
century with consecutive boundaries off Kane Williamson
(8-0-40-2) in the 41st over.
But the dismissal of David Miller (15) in the following over
triggered a collapse including the wicket of Smith, meaning
South Africa needed eight off the final over with just two
wickets in hand.
The Proteas required three off the final two deliveries and
when Dale Steyn (4) was caught on the boundary, it was left
to McLaren to get the hosts over the line.
The left-hander duly obliged as he dispatched the final
delivery from Franklin (6-0-38-2) over fine leg for a
dramatic six to the delight of the ecstatic crowd.