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New Zealand vs South Africa, 5th ODI: 5 Talking Points

AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis
AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis of South Africa. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

South Africa again strolled to a comprehensive victory against New Zealand in the 5th ODI at the Eden Park in Auckland to take the 5 match series 3-2 The South African bowlers continued their exceptional show even in the final encounter and rattled the hosts with their immaculate bowling. The hosts never really got going and kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. They were eventually skittled out for a paltry 149 in the 42nd over.

South Africa’s stuttered during their run chase losing three quick wickets but eventually coasted home by 6 wickets and with more than 17 overs to spare. Faf du Plessis remained unbeaten on 51 and ensured the visitors reached the target without any further hiccups. Hard-hitter David Miller also chipped in with a free flowing 45.

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That said here we have a look at 5 Talking Points from the 5th and the final ODI in Auckland.

1.  Kagiso Rabada’s triple strike

Youngster Kagiso Rabada was again at his usual best and finished with impressive figures of 3/25 in 7.2 overs. The young fast bowler got his first reward in the 5th over when he dismissed dangerman, Martin Guptill. He breached through his defence and rattled his stumps with a terrific inswinger. He bowled pretty well in his 2nd spell and came back to dismiss Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme.

His 2nd wicket came in the 23rd over when he dismissed James Neesham with a short delivery. The left-hander was cramped for and top edged it straight to the wicket-keeper. He finished off the innings in the 42nd over with the wicket of Colin de Grandhomme.

2. Imran Tahir’s exceptional spell of 2/14 in 10 overs

Leg-spinner Imran Tahir has established himself as perhaps South Africa’s best bowler in the limited overs format. He was quite brilliant in the 4th ODI and in a generation where runs are scored at a brisk pace, he conceded only 14 runs in 10 overs bagging 2 wickets. Tahir was introduced into the attack in the 11th over and bowled tight lines. In his first 4 overs, the tweaker conceded only 4 runs.

He eventually got his first breakthrough in his 8th over when he bamboozled Tim Southee with a terrific wrong un. Tahir added one more to his kitty by dismissing Jeetan Patel in the very next over.

Also read: NZ v SA 5th ODI Review: South Africa beat New Zealand’s winning streak with a 3-2 series win

3. Faf du Plessis scored a fluent half-century

Du Plessis joined Hashim Amla in the middle in the 3rd over after the dismissal of Quinton de Kock. Du Plessis looked in complete control despite the visitors losing three quick wickets. He got off to a very slow start and struck his first boundary after 25 balls. Despite not unleashing his whole array of shots, du Plessis looked pretty solid in the middle.

He rotated the strike along and kept the scoreboard ticking. He struck two delightful drives of Tim Southee which raced to the boundary rope like a tracer bullet. He continued his good work and remained unbeaten on 51 as the Proteas reached the target with utmost ease in the end.

4. David Miller chips with 45

Hard-hitting left-hander David Miller looked quite composed in the crease and along with Du Plessis, the duo ensured that the Proteas reach the victory target with relative comfort in the end. Miller came in the middle in the 23rd over after the visitors were placed at 88/4b after the fall of their captain AB de Villiers’ wicket.

He looked in good touch and struck his first boundary of Jimmy Neesham facing only his 3rd delivery. He backed it up with a couple of fours and a six in quick time which eased the nerves for the visitors. He then smashed Trent Boult for a couple of boundaries in the 29th over and added a four and six more of Tim Southee in the very next over. He remained unbeaten on 45 as South Africa reached the target in the 33rd over.

5. Jeetan Patel chips in with a couple of wickets for the hosts

In an otherwise disappointing match for the hosts, the performance of spinner Jeetan Patel in the early part of South Africa’s ignited hopes for the hosts to pull off an unlikely victory. Kiwis captain Kane Williamson started proceedings with him and the off-spinner didn’t disappoint. He dismissed opener Quintin de Kock in only his 2nd over with a tossed up delivery.

He got his 2nd breakthrough in the 16th over when he foxed Jean-Paul Duminy with a flatter trajectory delivery. He eventually finished with figures of 2/26 in 5 overs.

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