Amla century brings series win

South Africa welcomed a comfortable 72-run win – and unassailable two-nil series lead – over New Zealand in Thursday’s second ODI at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

Batsman Hashim Amla scored his 16th ODI century – and in the process became the first batsman to score four ODI centuries in the current calendar year. It is a tribute to the strength of the Proteas top order that Amla, AB de Villiers and Faf du Plessis all have batting averages in excess of 60 during the current calendar year.

Amla (119 off 135 balls, 15 fours) and du Plessis (67 off 73 balls, three fours and two sixes) shared a second-wicket partnership of 113 and then de Villiers made certain that effective use would be made of the batting Powerplay with his contribution of 37 (25 balls, five fours and a six).

The New Zealand innings was a replication of the first match with five wickets falling before they had 70 runs on the board and the ninth wicket falling at 134. Once again the Proteas were to be frustrated by a last-wicket partnership between Luke Ronchi and Mitchell McClenaghan that eventually reached 76 and improved on the NZ 10th wicket partnership record that Ronchi and Trent Boult had achieved in the previous match.

This and the fact that the Proteas were restricted to 73 for seven in their last 10 overs took the edge off what was otherwise a perfect performance. The Proteas brought David Miller back into the side in place of Ryan McLaren and the absence of a specialist fifth bowler provided the opportunity for de Villiers to take his maiden ODI wicket and he finished with a respectable two for 28 in six overs.