New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum was disappointed to lose the final ODI against South Africa, but said the fact that they won the series was more than enough compensation after a terrible tour.
The Proteas won the third match in Potchefstroom thanks to a final-ball six from Ryan McLaren, narrowly avoiding a whitewash after it was assumed by all and sundry that they would win the series at a canter.
McCullum, who took over as captain from Ross Taylor at the start of the tour, was delighted by the way his players responded to the Test series defeat, and enjoyed the Black Caps' first ever series win in South Africa.
McCullum said: "It would have been great to win the series 3-0. But winning the series, achieving what we've achieved in this series and even how we've played today as well, we've showed the characteristics that we want to be known for."
He continued: "Our bowlers tried hard all day. The wicket did skid on a little bit, and it was probably slightly easier to bat on in that second innings. But that's the nature of the toss as well and playing in foreign conditions. I can't speak highly enough of the effort from our guys.
"I thought we showed some real character and some real fighting qualities to hang in there, when we were behind the eight ball and get ourselves back in the game. Graeme Smith's innings (116) today was a phenomenal innings and deserved to be on the winning side."
McCullum was particularly pleased with the victory in light of the horror tour they'd had beforehand, where they lost the T20s and were humiliated in both Tests. Not many gave them a snowball's chance in hell of winning the series, and he said if felt good to prove the critics wrong.
The skipper added: "We competed in the Twenty20s, but South Africa deserved the result; in Tests we were blown off the park by a team at the top of their game.
"It was a learning opportunity to see the best in action and see how far we need to improve, but to win the ODI series has been satisfying, not only for the group of players, but also for the management and the fans."